What is Collaboration: Why Is It Important?

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Written By Haisam Abdel Malak
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Organizations are constantly seeking methods to improve business operations efficiency by enhancing how employees collaborate to accomplish a common corporate goal. Effective collaboration is a key factor that contributes to faster business outcomes, especially when workers operate from various locations.

Collaboration is the process of working together towards a common goal. It involves individuals or groups sharing knowledge, skills, and resources to achieve a shared objective. Collaboration can take many forms, including virtual teamwork, co-authoring, and project management, and is essential for success in many fields.

Collaboration in the workplace can take place in a typical office or among members of a virtual team. It can unleash people’s creativity, which is what keeps employees engaged and inventive.

Workplace collaboration examples include collaborating on shared documents, addressing work difficulties via team communication channels, video calls and meetings, and brainstorming with whiteboards. Follow these trends related to collaboration for more optimized workspace.

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Collaboration Definition

Collaboration is the joint effort of many individuals or groups of people working together to complete a job or achieve a common goal.

When two or more people work on different aspects of a project independently, they are at best coordinated. When they need to get together to help one another because they cannot proceed alone, that is collaboration.

People are naturally collaborative. We, humans, are social beings who exist by engaging and connecting with others. Everyone wants and needs to be a part of a community or to be a part of a similar group of individuals. The power is having a shared work target, such as a problem, a project, or a shared goal.

When working from home has become the new standard, virtual collaboration has surpassed the old method with the use of modern technological solutions.

The ability of employees to operate as a team with clear and defined goals is one of the important criteria for a successful organization. It ensures that team members are aligned with the bigger vision and that everyone is working in the same direction and speed.

What are the 4 types of collaboration?

There are several types of collaboration that can occur within teams and organizations.

These include:

1- Internal collaboration

In this environment, team members from the same organization’s same or other departments connect with one another.

2- External collaboration

This involves working with external partners like suppliers, contractors, or clients.

3- Vertical collaboration

This involves working with partners or stakeholders at several organizational levels, such as various departments or divisions.

4- Horizontal collaboration

This involves working at the same level of employees in the same organization.

Benefits of Collaboration in the Workplace

Collaboration is important and necessary since no single individual can finish the work, solve the problem, or reach the objective alone. Rather, we need to pool a diverse range of other people’s skills and expertise.

Achieving an effective collaboration in the workplace doesn’t come without challenges, however implementing common guidelines will help you overcome them. Check the below article for more information.

11 Collaboration Challenges and How to Overcome Them (theecmconsultant.com)

The primary purpose of collaboration is to improve the way your team works together and solves problems. This results in increased employee satisfaction, increased work efficiency, enhanced problem solving, boost productivity, and increase profitability.

The ultimate objective is to improve company results and project success. Not only that but encouraging effective team collaboration inside businesses would enhance workflow, team relationships, productivity, and efficiency.

Below are a few of the most significant benefits of collaboration in the workplace:

1- Increased Employee Satisfaction

Among the top benefits of collaboration in the workspace is the increased employee satisfaction.

The elements of collaboration contribute to the creation of an atmosphere in which employees feel appreciated for both their individual abilities and their input. Employee happiness not only has a positive impact on company culture, but it can also lead to increased retention.

2- Increased Efficiency

Digital work collaboration especially during remote work increases the efficiency of business operations. When team members collaborate in a positive and supportive atmosphere, they are more likely to fulfill project deadlines. in addition, It assists in increasing the transparency of your initiatives, which encourages greater accountability and facilitates cross-team collaboration.

3- Enhanced Problem Solving

Collaboration in the workplace helps enhancing problem solving skills for employees.

Working in a team with a diverse range of talents and ideas makes problem-solving easier and faster than working alone. When multiple individuals focus their expertise and share the burden, the time it takes to address difficulties is significantly reduced.

4- Boosts Productivity

Keeping everyone informed about project progress, new possibilities, and future obstacles encourages conversation, which allows you to speed up the creation and execution of solutions. Working in a collaborative environment makes employees more responsible and motivated.

Boosting employees productivity should be considered as the top benefits of collaboration in the workplace that organizations must have.

5- Improves Agility

Organizations must be more agile than ever before in order to handle various disruptive challenges. They must be digitally native in order to easily alter business models and respond faster to new challenges.

6- More Productive Meetings

One of the major benefits of collaboration in the workplace is that it improves meeting efficiency. By proactively recording their job progress, team members will require fewer meetings to complete their duties.

7- Increased Profitability

When a good and encouraging corporate culture is established, employees collaborating in the workplace will give their all to meet their goals, which will have a beneficial impact on the overall growth and profitability of the firm.

What are 3 important skills for teamwork and collaboration?

The 3 important skills for collaboration and teamwork are adaptability, problem-solving, and communication. These skills are essential for team members to be able to communicate their thoughts and opinions clearly, recognize and resolve problems that develop within the team, and be adaptable and open to change in order to deal with changing circumstances.

Guidelines for Effective Collaboration

We now realize the power of workplace collaboration and how critical it is for businesses to establish a strong team collaboration culture. We know that it leads to better ideas and outputs, not to mention that it makes the work process more meaningful and pleasurable overall.

However, many guidelines or practices must be followed and executed internally in order to develop such an atmosphere.

What makes workplace collaboration successful is the availability of clear objectives, skill diversification among employees, the establishment of common communication protocols, trust between collaborators, and the use of appropriate tools.

In this part, we will discuss the most essential rules that businesses should adhere to and support in order to achieve the most successful digital remote workplace collaboration.

  • Clear Objectives: What organizations are attempting to do must have a clear and well-defined shared objective. Without it, achieving anything as a team is extremely hazardous. Furthermore, a clear goal should be communicated to the team at all times. For successful team collaboration, a shared vision, established milestones, the lack of hidden motives, and a single objective at the end are all required.
  • Skills Diversification: A well-balanced diversity of abilities is required to divide work fairly and allow team members to learn from one another and improve both emotionally and professionally.
  • Establish Communication Protocols: It is critical for the team to have well-established communication standards in order to communicate and collaborate. This guideline will indicate when to utilize email, Slack, or other messaging services, as well as what information should be communicated in person.
  • Be Coachable: As Michael Jordan used to say, my best skill was that I was coachable. I was a sponge and aggressive to learning. Such an attitude among all team members would facilitate team collaboration and assist team members to grow and deliver.
  • Use The Right Tools: The appropriate digital collaboration tools may make it easier for team members to interact, exchange files and papers, and collaborate. The usage of standard tools by all team members is the way to proceed.
  • Be Ready: When it comes to disruptive times like COVID19, having a digital mechanism might be critical. Companies that rely on digital remote collaboration were in a better position to allow workers to work from home with little to no downtime.
  • Lead By Example: When it comes to effective corporations, the team leader should be a role model. Make time for your team to create and participate by always welcoming co-creation, promoting open communication, and providing time for them to develop and collaborate.
  • Give Permission To Lead: The important thing to remember is that excellent leaders must also be good followers. The true trick is knowing when you should lead and when you should follow.
  • Trust: When members trust one another, they work together. They truly listen to one another and presume the best in one another here. They grow transparent and even vulnerable with time.

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How To Manage Document Collaboration?

The majority of businesses continue to rely on email as a primary medium for employee collaboration. In reality, as we use email for internal and external communications, email archiving, and collaboration in our daily operations, the number of emails will only grow over time.

In addition to emails, several businesses have adopted the use of enterprise file sharing and synchronization (EFSS) solutions such as Dropbox to provide their workers with the capacity to manage and share their documents. While this may be enough for small businesses, it is far from ideal for medium to large-sized corporations.

Using emails has a number of drawbacks, including the danger of losing track of what was shared, commented on, and the proper document version to review, as well as the security risk of having the document distributed to unauthorized individuals.

Check the below article for the best document collaboration tools available in the market.

7 Best Document Collaboration Tools of 2022 (FREE and PAID) (theecmconsultant.com)

Today, medium to big businesses should invest in an ECM solution for a variety of reasons and one of which is to improve cooperation among workers, partners, and customers by linking people and processes to circulate ideas, stimulate innovation, and exchange information.

The majority of enterprise content management or document management systems on the market offer two options for document collaboration:


View only: The invitee is given temporary access to a read-only version of the document.

Edit mode: Temporary modification of fundamental document fields, metadata, or attachments.

Comment: When certain employees in the organization are required to take actions on the document, having the ability for this group to collaborate with minimal effort by adding comments on the document version, adding attachments, inviting other team members, or tagging specific colleagues will undoubtedly boost their productivity and allow them to focus their efforts on more important subjects.


Most businesses, particularly those in the construction sector, require more complex cooperation mechanisms under specific circumstances.

Ultimately, employees should be able to open a document from within the system and do advanced annotations, redlining, and add a comprehensive markup toolkit of shapes and text.

Such enhanced capability will offer a lot of value and aid in real-time collaboration among employees on the most recent version of the text.

Approval Documents: Using the system’s enhanced features, most, if not all, of the existing document approval scenarios can be automated. By automating document approvals, you will enhance transparency, productivity, and significantly minimize the time required to approve the document.


It takes time and effort to create a collaborative workplace, but the result is well worth it. Organizations risk losing their potential to develop and boost results if they do not engage in effective and digital collaboration.

Every company should strive to provide the greatest atmosphere for workers to thrive and, as a result, develop their business.

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