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Team Collaboration:
A Guide for Remote Teams

team collaboration tools for remote work

One of the benefits of a hyper-connected business environment is that it allows you to combine minds with others via team collaboration. As the saying goes, two heads are better than one, and cross-team collaboration reveals a related truism: Two teams are better than one. Here’s how team and cross-team collaboration work, how to improve them, and what tools you can use to make them natural elements of your business systems.

What is Team Collaboration?

Team collaboration involves two or more people working together, combining innovative thinking and equal, open participation by everyone involved. The sense of equality inherent to the process sets team collaboration apart from other kinds of collaboration. In other words, a team can consist of people from different levels of an organization — management, upper management, senior, junior, new hires, anyone — but everyone’s input carries equal weight.

Also, in a team collaboration environment, those involved can make decisions as a body or present recommendations to another decision maker. Still, it’s rare for a single team member to be “the decider.” In this way, the team collaboration ecosystem underscores equality.

What Is Cross-Team Collaboration?

Cross-team collaboration involves two or more teams joining forces to handle business challenges. Here are some core features of cross-team collaboration and how they produce better business outcomes:

Boost Participation and Teamwork

By uniting professionals usually separated by siloes — due to distance or organizational structure — you improve a sense of teamwork and get more people involved. Further, people may feel more important to the company as a whole as they interact with more coworkers. There’s a chance that staff members will even learn some new skills in the process. Businesses may be more likely to support and keep their finest talent when employees work together to enhance their problem-solving skills, their abilities, and their relationships with coworkers.

Enable Quicker Progress

Progress can be a slow, arduous process when several processes operate in isolation from one another. Consider a time when you called a business with a question and were then transferred to multiple extensions. It is not only annoying but also takes a lot of time.

On the other hand, imagine that a small group of specialists picked up the phone to take your call. You could come up with a more useful response much faster with the right cross-team group. This is what cross-team collaboration does for your organization as it tackles challenges: It unites teams that each bring their own perspective to the situation.

Increase Ingenuity and Creativity

Cross-functional teams have the potential to be more imaginative than department-based teams. A company can try different solutions to a problem or even mix skills that are seldom brought together by combining a variety of skills. Team members can also question how things are done when examining the procedures of other departments. The end result is increased ingenuity that supports unique solutions.

Get More Robust Outcomes

Different departments offer different viewpoints. A decision’s financial implications, for instance, may be more likely to be top of mind for an accountant. The impact of the same choice on employee relationships and welfare could be surfaced by HR. A team member from a third department might spot flaws in both strategies that might have gone undiscovered otherwise.

Why Is Team Collaboration Important?

Team collaboration is important for several reasons, all of which hinge on the need to provide innovative solutions to complex challenges. For example, with team collaboration, you can:

  • Unite a diverse selection of minds around navigating sticky problems
  • Foster a culture that underscores the value of everyone in the workplace
  • Bridge gaps between people in different departments
  • Gather ideas from people that may otherwise be marginalized on the fringes of your organization. This could include administrative staff, human resources, and information technology (IT) — all of whom are vital but often too busy doing their work to get in the weeds to solve business problems.

Benefits of Team Collaboration

Team collaboration comes with unique benefits that may be difficult or impossible in other work environments. Here are some of the top advantages of team collaboration.


Flexibility is a natural byproduct of a collaborative team environment. A team can be ready for nearly any situation by knowing the team’s purpose and ultimate objective. Within your field, change is unavoidable, and a team that is prepared can predict and adjust to that change.

Open Dialogue and Involvement

Team collaboration paves the way for different people to freely share potentially helpful or profitable ideas. The first step to effective communication is incorporating tools for team collaboration into your workflow. With software for team collaboration, coworkers can see the work that’s being done in real-time — and then dive into the dialog. In this way, communication and collaboration go hand in hand.

Also, a team that understands how to work together is at ease discussing ideas and bringing new procedures and methodologies to the table. Teammates that participate at an equal level can speak to one another clearly and directly. This leads to fresh ideas and better results.

Combining Skills

A team cannot function as a unit that communicates, anticipates change, and solves problems without sharing knowledge. Each member of your team can coach the others, impart new skills, and advance the team as a whole if they can bring their experience to the table. Additionally, every effective team combines a variety of perspectives that can help develop fresh business strategies. By bringing these skills under the same umbrella, you get a higher concentration of talent than you would if people tried to tackle issues on their own. And with virtual meetings and collaboration technology, it’s easier to combine skills and collaborate on projects.

Alignment of Goals

By combining individual and group initiatives, a team accomplishes a shared objective faster simply because their goals are in sync. You comprehend your job and the significance of your work when you have a specific aim in mind. This means you can pool your skills and knowledge to streamline operations and accomplish a common objective. By focusing on common goals, the team is more supportive, which promotes skill-sharing and higher output.

Improved Engagement Across Your Organization

A happy employee feels comfortable contributing ideas, is committed to the team’s objectives and is motivated to take on the challenges that lie ahead. And a content, motivated team member shows up to work each day, eager to work with others. The end result is boosted productivity, employee retention, and, ultimately, profitability.

Increased Productivity

When a team works together and collaborates effectively, an increase in overall productivity is often seen. This enables employees to be more effective and get more done collectively. Technology plays an important role in helping drive team productivity. However, more team collaboration apps and programs are not always the answer. In fact, by forcing employees to use dozens of difference collaboration and communication apps, you could be negatively affecting team productivity. By using a single application for communication and collaboration needs, employees gain more time back and have a better collaboration experience. If you use the right team collaboration software, then you gain features that drive productivity.

Check out this blog to learn more about collaboration technology features that drive productivity.

How to Improve Communication and Collaboration in the Workplace

Leaders focusing on how to improve communication and collaboration in the workplace have two central objectives: Support a collaborative culture, and provide unified communication and collaboration tools. Here are some things to focus on when digging into how to improve team collaboration.

Establish Crystal-Clear Communication Practices

Giving clear directions, seeking clarification when necessary, and listening to all team members are central facets of successful communication. Therefore, implementing a team messaging solution that enables team members to exchange files, make virtual calls, and send updates in real-time can pave the way for more effective collaboration. You get all these features via a cloud communications solution, which can be the key to flawless team meetings.

Commit to Transparency

Open communication isn’t enough; a transparent discourse of ideas is also necessary. This entails outlining duties and responsibilities up front and setting clear goals. A chat app can make it easier to provide transparent communication for all members.

You also need to alert members when issues develop instead of hoping they don’t find out or trying to displace blame for unexpected challenges — or even outright mistakes.

Boost Employee Involvement

By keeping team members motivated and interested in working together, the project can enjoy smooth, steady progress. This is possible only when you recognize and utilize each team member’s strengths. Creating a platform that acknowledges these strengths is critical because all team members have something to contribute to the project. Using a solution that includes whiteboarding functionality can help boost employee interaction and team collaboration when employees are working remotely or in various office locations.

Encourage a Spirit of Compromise

If conflicts emerge, team members must be ready to make concessions in the group’s best interests. The team will be more successful as a whole if it consists of people who have a positive outlook and are willing to compromise.

Effective team collaboration may lead to fewer disputes, but if those conflicts occur, a management system needs to be put in place. A group discussion or a one-on-one meeting with particular members can help address conflicts. But when a solution proves to be elusive, a spirit of compromise can keep the team functioning.

Build Diversity

A team with a varied range of abilities, knowledge, and viewpoints will encourage a more well-rounded, insightful atmosphere. Diversity includes people that not only hail from different backgrounds but also bring a wide range of skills to the table. It’s also often beneficial to incorporate people of different ages and levels of professional experience as you aim to form a diverse team.

What to Look for in Tools for Team Collaboration

When considering tools for team collaboration, it’s important to enable on-premises, remote work, and hybrid environments. Here are some of the features you’ll want to prioritize as you choose the most effective software for team collaboration:

  • A cloud-based system. With connectivity hosted in the cloud, anyone can connect with other individuals and teams if they have an internet connection.
  • A unified communications system that includes several channels under one roof, such as file sharing, messaging, meetings and collaboration services, VoIP, and a call center, if necessary.
  • A solution that enables rich, effective, and inclusive team meetings. Because your team meetings are at the heart of your collaboration initiative, it’s important to use a solution that enables you to:
    • Incorporate personalized meeting rooms
    • Use video chat
    • Screen share
    • Invite others to the meeting
    • Chat via messaging during the meeting
    • Record each meeting for viewing later
    • Centrally control all of a meeting’s features and its participants

Enable Robust Team Collaboration With TPx

With TPx’s solutions, you get a cloud-based unified communications system that makes it easy and straightforward for team members and teams to exchange ideas, content, and work as they address business challenges. To learn why thousands of businesses are choosing UCx with Webex for their team collaboration, read our blog on the six reasons to go all in with UCx with Webex.

Also, in a team collaboration environment, those involved can make decisions as a body or present recommendations to another decision maker. Still, it’s rare for a single team member to be “the decider.” In this way, the team collaboration ecosystem underscores equality.

Connect with a TPx representative below and see first-hand how TPx’s unified communications solution can empower your teams.

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