We’ve all had to get comfortable working remotely over the last few years.
By and large, our productivity hasn’t wavered. But while individual productivity has been generally shown to remain steady or even improve in remote environments, remote work isn’t necessarily optimal when it comes to collaboration–and this is especially true during crunch time.
Hybrid work is here to stay. But bringing your team together during busy periods can help you run projects or deadlines across the finish line more efficiently than you would if you were all working and collaborating digitally.
6 ways in-person collaboration benefits teams during busy times
For all of its positives, remote work can pose specific challenges when it comes to collaboration.
By eliminating some of these sticking points, particularly during stressful, tense, or high-pressure moments, you can help empower smoother workflows and positive outcomes for your team.
When you’re immersed in a busy period and your team’s trying to make it through, working in isolation can be incredibly demoralizing. As an employee, it’s easy to feel like you’re all alone with no support, trudging through it all on your own.
Gathering your team in one place as you work to push through and complete your deliverables does wonders for team morale.
Being in the thick of it together makes it easier to channel those positive team dynamics into an all-for-one, one-for-all mentality.
During crunch times when your team is working hard to complete a project or meet a deadline, quick, efficient, and effective communication is critical.
Slack, Zoom, email, text messages, and phone calls all make for an easy means of communicating with your team. But it can also take time to type out longer thoughts, book time for calls, or await responses.
With your team working together in the office, they’re able to interact instantly, ask questions quickly, brainstorm impromptu, and troubleshoot challenges within seconds.
And when time is of the essence, those seconds are a valuable commodity.
The asynchronous nature of remote work is an inarguable asset for both organizations and teams.
It allows you and your team to work whenever, wherever, and however allows for the greatest levels of productivity and output. It also allows you to have access to talent that may be in different time zones or even countries.
In a time-sensitive scenario, though, the synchronicity of in-person collaboration can produce magic.
Quick conversations and the ability to spin off of each other’s ideas ensure every single member of your team is on the same page, moving in the same direction, all in real-time.
There are three universal challenges in a virtual work environment:
Non-verbal cues are notably absent from interpersonal interactions
It’s easy to misinterpret tone or intent via digital communication
Conflicts and disputes are incredibly tough to solve online
During the course of a regular remote workday, these challenges are less prominent and can be mitigated and managed on an as-needed basis.
But when people are working in a pressure cooker of tight timelines and high stakes, tensions can sometimes run high, and when they do, these challenges are amplified tenfold.
Bringing your team together in person means drastically reducing the impacts of misunderstandings, disagreements, and miscommunications and providing an immediate forum to quickly and calmly work through them together.
And the result is often a stronger team and a better way forward.
Even in the best of times, interdepartmental silos can cause delays and slow the progress of projects or deliverables.
During critical points in projects or busy periods, having your entire team working together in one place helps break down those silos by affording everyone easy and hassle-free access to the colleagues they need to connect with to get things done.
You can also get everyone in the same room for a meeting where they can discuss what needs to be done, assign immediate action items as a team, and continue to move things forward.
Building bonds and trust
The most effective teams know and care for each other on a personal level and trust each other deeply. It’s not impossible to build bonds and trust remotely, but it’s not always easy, either.
In reality, you’re more likely to share personal facts and stories with colleagues over lunch or during impromptu small talk than you would if you had to chat with them over Slack or book time over Zoom to communicate.
These “water cooler chat” moments are what help you get to know your colleagues, and they create empathy, friendship, and trust.
With that foundation built beneath your team, it’s easier to understand why people act a certain way which, in turn, supercharges collaboration.
That’s how great teams are built and how true innovation happens.
Being together during crunch time helps build these bonds so that your team can maintain them over time and be even better equipped to handle the next busy work period.
Hybrid work has its benefits for both organizations and employees. But it’s not optimal for every situation.
When you need all hands on deck, it’s best to bring people together to work collaboratively in person.
If you’re looking for somewhere to buckle down with your colleagues, one of iQ Offices’ fully-equipped meeting rooms is a great place to start. Book yours today.
Kane Willmott is the co-founder and CEO of iQ Offices, the largest independent Canadian-owned co-working operator with offices in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. iQ Offices provides beautiful office spaces with safety, service, privacy and design at the forefront.