Collaboration in the workplace is when two or more people
(often groups) work together through idea sharing and thinking to
accomplish a common goal. It is simply teamwork taken to a higher level.
Teamwork is often a physical joining of two people or a group to
accomplish a task. With the changes and advancements in technology, such
as high-speed Internet, web-based programs, file sharing, email and
video-conferencing, collaboration has become a more productive way of
doing things. Collaboration in the workplace incorporates teamwork and
several other aspects, such as the following:
- Thinking and brainstorming ideas to provide solutions – This
key element brings groups together to offer different perspectives and
expertise to solve for common problems. The phrase ‘putting our heads
together’ would be a good example of this important element of
- A strong sense of purpose – Groups and individuals who truly
collaborate see the value in working together. Collaboration is not
forced upon someone. There should be a meaningful reason for working
together, and it should benefit both parties or the company as a whole.
- Equal participation – In corporate America, a collaborative
manager or leader may often say, ‘leave your titles at the door.’
Treating everyone as equals when collaborating can open up communication
and encourage ideas from all levels of the company or department, not
just the managers or directors.