How to achieve collaboration in the workplace

Learn more about the strategies, technology and tools that will empower your organisation to foster a collaborative culture for increased productivity and innovation.
· 07 March 2024 · 5 minute read

What is collaboration in the workplace?

Collaboration in the workplace is about joining forces to reach a common goal.  It can help boost productivity, spark creativity and enable rapid task completion.

Businesses need to be increasingly agile, be quick to adapt to changing trends and  outpace the competition. This makes workplace collaboration even more important.

According to Asana’s, The Anatomy of Work Global Index 2023, 78% of Australian workers at collaborative organisations feel well-prepared to respond to business challenges. However it’s not simply about productivity and reacting to challenges quicker. Collaboration in the workplace can also help produce happier employees.


The difference between teamwork and collaboration

While teamwork is important, it's one piece of the larger collaboration puzzle.

With teamwork, individuals combine their efforts. They do this under the supervision of a team leader. Through delegated tasks, each person contributes to the team's end goal.

For example, you may have a teamwork-driven sales team. They share responsibilities, such as presenting a pitch or closing a deal.

Collaboration in the workplace involves working together as equals. They do this to make decisions and reach a goal. This is usually done without a designated leader, combining ideas, opinions and knowledge.

For example, marketing teams collaborate on a campaign with designers, copywriters, and strategists. Each contributes their expertise to reach the end goal.


Benefits of collaboration at work

Collaboration fuels successful businesses. Asana’s, The Anatomy of Work Global Index, shows that businesses with strong collaboration cultures have higher revenue growth. Collaboration also helps with creative problem-solving and better decision-making.

Below we explore some other advantages to building a collaborative workforce.

Greater innovation

Innovation thrives when different minds come together. Employees can combine their unique perspectives. This can spark fresh insights. The Centre for the New Workforce has released the Peak Human Workplace report, showing that by sharing knowledge, idea generation can increase by up to 31%.

Increased efficiency

Team collaboration also helps separate tasks. Instead of each member working alone, projects enjoy unique skill sets. This can help lead to faster completion, reduced workload and increased productivity.

Yet, efficient teams are not born overnight. It helps for everyone to understand each other's processes and styles of work.

More knowledgeable employees

Collaboration at work also helps team members exchange knowledge and skills. Employees can gain a broader understanding of other departments. This helps increase competency levels in the business.

Learn more about how to support knowledge transfer in business.

Improved problem-solving

When it comes to problem-solving, the more perspectives the better. Collaborative teams can use collective knowledge to find better solutions to complex problems. This can help lead to uncovering better solutions. It can also help increase employee satisfaction.

Greater employee retention

Working collaboratively in a team can also help create better employee experience. The inclusive culture can help employees feel valued and heard. This can help increase job satisfaction and loyalty. The result? Greater employee retention.


Strategies for enhancing workplace collaboration

Collaboration strategies help lay the groundwork for higher productivity, growth and achieving goals. They can help streamline processes and build an engaging work culture. Below we unpack a few important strategies you can put in place.

Set goals for the team

A clear understanding of collective targets helps teams work together to reach goals. Consider setting both individual and team goals. This helps give everyone a clear direction and a shared purpose to work towards.

Promote active listening

Active listening encourages open communication. It also helps to foster mutual respect within your team. It involves paying full attention, asking follow-up questions and demonstrating understanding.

Install the right technology

Technology has the potential to enhance team collaboration. Project management software and instant messaging platforms can help keep hybrid workforces connected.

It helps to spend time identifying the tools that best serve your business needs. Combine this with appropriate training. This can help your employees get the most from the technology they use.

Treat collaboration as an ongoing strategy

Consider promoting collaborative behaviours and providing feedback. This can help weave workplace collaboration into the fabric of your culture. Training employees in key skills can include:

  • Tailored workshops. Address your team's unique challenges and needs. Workshops should be interactive and engaging. This helps promote learning.
  • Team building activities. This can help strengthen relationships and build trust among team members. Both are essential for effective collaboration.
  • Utilise online resources. Discover resources you can use to help improve collaboration skills. Platforms such as LinkedIn Learning are a good starting place.
  • Consistent reinforcement. Help reinforce training through processes, meetings, and systems. Reward the collaborative skills recognised among your employees.


Tools that enhance collaboration in the workplace

There are many affordable technologies to help enhance collaboration. They offer a range of features for project collaboration. This includes real-time communication, file sharing, and cloud solutions. Each helps play a role in streamlining workflows and team efficiency. They can also help support remote workers.

Real-time communication

Effective work collaboration hinges on real-time communication. This is where video conferencing tools can help you stand out.

Telstra research, The ultimate playbook (PDF, 3.3MB), found 61% of employees felt that voice calls were a critical part of their role. They can help provide teams with a platform to communicate in real time - through text, voice, or video calls.

Video platforms often incorporate chat channels for different projects or departments. This helps workers to align on tasks and goals.

You can also share and co-edit files without leaving the platform. This helps to provide seamless interaction, regardless of location.


File sharing is an integral part of modern collaborative work. Cloud-based storage solutions can be helpful. They enable you to store, share and synchronise files across devices.

They also help workers contribute to documents with co-workers in real-time. Changes are also saved in real time. This prevents editing and version control issues. It also helps improve completion speeds by reducing back-and-forth emails.

Discover how to introduce cloud storage into your business

Cloud-task management

Managing tasks is also crucial for your team's success. Cloud-based tools for example, can help create plans, assign tasks, set deadlines and track progress.

You can organise tasks into groups and use charts to visualise progress. Incorporating task management tools helps everyone understand their responsibilities and deadlines. This can help remove confusion and enhance productivity.

Find out how cloud solutions can help boost efficiency


Want to take the next steps to a more collaborative future?

  • Make everyone feel valued and safe to express innovative ideas. Collaboration at work thrives on open engagement and respect.
  • Develop a well-defined strategy that promotes team collaboration. Ensure there are clear guidelines on how to share ideas and knowledge.
  • Consider implementing digital collaboration tools, for example project management software and communication platforms. This can help make collaborative work processes smoother and more efficient.

Technology, and a focus on collaborative working can help transform your business. It can help ensure you’re more connected and find creative solutions to challenges.

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