Readers, I need you to do me a small favor. Just look up from this and say “hi” to your team for me. Then, once you’ve finished reading this, get back to work, because your team needs you. Unless, of course, you’re not part of a team, in which case, you should still keep reading. The point I’m getting at is: business teams are important, but those in them rarely make the most of it.
According to a study by Siemens (News - Alert) Enterprise Communications, most employees who are part of a team are either under-utilizing the tools available for improving virtual teamwork, or don’t have the right tools in the first place. Others find the tools they have frustrating or overwhelming, which is just as unproductive as not having them, if not worse, from the time lost trying to figure them out.
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According to the study, e-mail and phone are used the most for communication and collaboration with virtual teams. Only slightly more than half of them feel that’s sufficient, though, with 72 percent thinking that video would help their ability to work together as a team. Only 34 percent of the responders use video, though.
As such, the study recommends focusing on aligning the user experience with the work lifestyle; allow employees to use their mobile devices and personal tools in a way that works best for them, and make sure they have the tools they need to communicate in a natural, intuitive way. The key is in empowering workers, thus improving the way their teams can connect and work together.
“This study reinforces what we hear every day from prospects and highlights the real opportunity enterprises have if they can improve the connection and collaboration among virtual teams,” says Chris Hummel, CCO at Siemens. “This survey further underpins our recently released amplifyTEAMS campaign. Our vision is to deliver communications solutions that redefine the way employees work. Simple to use across any device - bringing together all channels of communication including social, video, text, transcription, presence, and analytics into a simple, central, intuitive experience that empowers workers the way they work to dramatically improve performance.“
So here we have a great communications asset, video, being underutilized in an area that sorely needs it. Video communication and collaboration provides teams with a great way to work together, but far less than half of the teams surveyed are actually using it. It’s time to improve our virtual teams, and provide them with intuitive, useful tools that make working together over long distances easier than ever. The results will be worth it.
Edited by Brooke Neuman