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Connect and Be Productive: 5 Ways to Improve Teamwork

October 5, 2014

10:00 am

Did you know that on any given day of business it is estimated that you and your colleagues spend approximately 74 minutes attempting to contact each other? Or that you spend almost an hour looking over duplicated content and communications. These are just but a few examples of ways that we waste time and block both productivity and teamwork. That hour that you wasted looking for key information could have been spent actually accomplishing something.

Every scenario is different, and sometimes spending time looking for information is unavoidable, but working with your team to become a fine-oiled machine is imperative. The more efficient your team is, the higher the quality of work you produce. On top of that, efficiency leads to less time dedicated to a project, and possibly more time for you. What’s not to like?

If you are looking for ways to bolster the quality of your team, check out a couple of the tips below.

1. Have meetings outside of the workplace: If your job allows it, meet at a coffee shop, park, or restaurant. Not being in the familiar stress-inducing office setting helps lower defensive barriers around you and your co-workers and allows for more natural conversation. That, and coffee is delicious and any meeting that includes coffee is naturally a better meeting.


2. Task Delegation: Use task management software like Pyrus or SugarCRM to delegate tasks among team members. Sugar is a complete customer relationship management system that allows you to quickly fill out and file data about your customers. This data can be quickly accessed from any of your team members. You can also assign customers to particular members of your team, making everyone on the same page.

Pyrus is an intuitive piece of task management software that takes task management and simplifies it into what is basically “task-based” emails. You receive mail pertaining to your particular part of a project. You complete your task. You forward the completed task to your supervisor or appropriate team member, and at that point it is wiped from your Pyrus Inbox to reduce clutter.

3. Idea Sharing: Using an app like Simplenote or Evernote, team members at any time can type up their idea and share it with everyone included on the list. This is a great way to jot down ideas for the task at hand so it can be discussed at a later meeting. (Maybe in that coffee shop we mentioned earlier!)


4. Definitive Roles: This one goes hand in hand with #2, but make sure your team knows exactly where they are needed and what is required of them. This will exterminate the possibilities of excuses such as “I didn’t know it was my job” and “That ISN’T my job.” Having clear cut roles leads your team to be more productive.

5. Teambuilding Exercises: Cooperation and communication are two of the most important things needed for a team to succeed. Teambuilding exercises can help bolster both of these. Simple exercises are enough, things like Egg Racing and Minefield. The goal isn’t to win; it’s to drum up conversation and synergy among your team members.


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Freelance writer with a focus on all things tech and gaming. Life Adventurer. You can keep up with me on Twitter or on my personal blog: BASExCAMP