Does teamwork make the dream work? How togetherness makes us focus and why working alone isn’t the best approach
No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.H. E. Luccock
Are you a team player or a lone worker? They joke that when you work in a team all the work gets done by one person. But when it comes to the workplace, the tables turn. It’s harmonious teamwork that makes for any outstanding achievement.
The “Effectiveness of Teamwork In the Workplace” research says that people working in teams show higher productivity and bring better results than those working alone. As you work in a group, you learn from others, rely on your teammates for emotional support, and feel more connected to the common goal. On the contrary, lone workers often face boredom, stress, and time management issues.
Now, let’s look at the core benefits of working in a team and list some practical tips to enhance teamwork in your organization.
8 key benefits of working in a team
Modern teams share offices, work files, and Zoom conference rooms, but most importantly — values and beliefs. What empowers employees the most is perhaps the feeling of contribution to a common goal. So what are the key benefits of working as a team?
1. More space for innovation
Great ideas in teams come from the combination of different perspectives. For example, imagine a team of three, with someone from Australia, someone being a big fan of golf, and someone being an introvert with excellent analytical skills. These people would have different backgrounds and view any given task differently. This way, they will develop more innovative solutions than one person could.
2. Peer-to-peer learning
Diversity in teams, of course, can present a lot of challenges. You want to ensure people coming from different backgrounds will hit it off and establish smooth cooperation. But here, we like to think of it as an opportunity. If your team is diverse enough, you can be pretty sure there will be lots of peer-to-peer learning opportunities for your workers. Everyone will feel how their skills boost as they work together.
3. Better task solving
People working in teams come up with better solutions to problems than individuals do. As coworkers complement each others’ skills and perspectives, they are more likely to generate better solutions faster.
4. Boosted creativity
A lack of creative ideas often comes from working alone and having no one to share your thoughts with. Teams, on the other hand, positively influence each other’s creativity and produce more innovative solutions. Team diversity also adds to enhanced creativity.
5. Healthy competitiveness
While observing how others work, we inevitably learn from them and try to adopt the best practices from their professional routine. In a healthy team climate, it’s organic that we attempt to perform better and set our own goals as professionals. In teams, people also tend to have role models they can learn from.
6. Better time management
Employees feel great knowing they can share workload and plan their time to achieve goals. For group members, a well-planned goal achievement process is a way to distribute their time for both work and rest. Check out our list of practical time management tips here.
7. Personal and professional development
Nothing feels more rewarding than understanding that you grow as a person and professional in a particular position. In fact, for many employees, the motivation for work builds mainly on the need for constant self-improvement. Conversely, working alone may leave one feeling stuck and lost thinking about their development perspectives.
8. Better psychological climate in your workspace
As social creatures, we tend to feel more comfortable around others. Knowing that someone always has your back is vital for establishing a proper climate in a team. Regular team buildings, one-to-one meetings, and unofficial gatherings help workers be in a better mood, which, in turn, affects productivity.
How to effectively enhance teamwork in the workplace
1. Set clear goals for your team
Nothing unites a group better than having to work together on achieving one big goal. Set an achievable target, make sure you distribute the roles and responsibilities, and begin. As the team gets to work, be sure that the roles intersect, people learn from each other, and give each other a helping hand. You can even reword “target” in your working documents and call it a “dream”. Sounds inspiring, right?
2. Celebrate great results
Make it a good habit to accentuate on key results achieved by your team. This way, teammates will feel more connected and see how each contributes to the cause. For example, if you’re working in a sales team, you can come up with a weekly review of key performance indicators you achieved.
3. Introduce a system of rewards
As you celebrate your great results, consider the rewards you may offer your team. This could be an additional day off, an extensive appraisal, or a good massage session for the whole team. People love to see that their work brings good results — and like to be rewarded for it.
4. Play team building games
All of us need to nourish our inner child sometimes. Playing games, for that matter, is a powerful tool to get things done in a simple, playful way. Introduce team contests, challenges, and other activities to help build bonds inside your team.
5. Create an informal team chat
Here, you can share all things outside of work. Your favorite playlists, movies, or TV series you’ve recently watched. Your recipe recommendations and random photos. And, most importantly, your pets’ pictures. This way, your employees will better grasp each other’s personalities, which will add to a better climate in the company.
6. Introduce unofficial gatherings
Corporate parties, birthdays, and other activities are essential to creating good ties in a group. The more connected your employees feel, the better they will perform as a team. If you’re working in one city, why not invite the team for movies one day? If you meet online, make it a good custom to celebrate birthdays and other important events via Zoom or any other platform. Or, at least, congratulate your employees with applause on a Zoom call before you get to work.
7. Come up with teamwork enhancing office design
Though many companies now practice a remote-first approach, some workers still love coming to the office. Or, at least, it’s nice to have the opportunity. Regular coffee breaks and Friday evening small talks may have become a thing of the past, but we still miss them, right? If you have an office, make sure its design provides for comfortable teamwork. It’s great to have lots of meeting rooms, whiteboards, coffee spots, and other essential locations. Think of your office as an ecosystem that should enhance teamwork, yet leave space for people to work on their projects independently. Here, you want to have Skype rooms for one, meditation spots, and more.
8. Do mind mapping, brainstorming, and other creative sessions
There are lots of tools out there that can help with task solving while enhancing team cooperation. So, gather for brainstorming sessions and mind map your upcoming plans. Remember the fundamental principles that apply here: all ideas, even the craziest ones, are welcome. Everyone should be heard and praised. Check out our list with top tools that will help you structure your ideas.
9. Allow team members to switch roles
Remember how company CEOs took on the responsibilities of carriers during the pandemic to ensure everything was working smoothly? Let your teammates walk in others’ shoes. You can introduce roles switching inside your team and on a company level.
10. Use special tools for co-creation
Tools like Google Docs, Trello, and others allow employees to see progress and monitor how the common goal is reached. For example, on VistaCreate, you can work on your design projects collaboratively in your Team account. Invite up to 10 users to your account, and they will get an opportunity to co-create and edit projects, access and use the team uploaded files, and switch to their personal accounts. For instance, you can invite your designer, copywriter, and social media manager to work together on a series of social media posts — you’ll see how well they perform.
Working in a team is a challenging yet rewarding venture. While working in a team, expect lots of learning opportunities, self-growth, and an overall feeling of fulfillment. Working in a team enhances creativity, boosts productivity, and affects company’s performance, as well as personal growth of each individual.
To enhance team work in your organization, we recommend you use special tools for co-creation, play team building games, and make room for less official communication. Build a healthy climate in your team — and enjoy the results it brings.