The Ultimate Guide to Team Collaboration

Learn how to stay on the same page and get things done together.

Effective team collaboration has always been the cornerstone of every successful business. And yet, according to a survey conducted by Deloitte, only 14 percent of leaders are completely satisfied with their organization’s current ability to communicate and collaborate.

The modern workspace is more connected and flexible than ever before – so why does that not help us be more productive as a team?

This guide aims to provide an answer by exploring the core aspects of team collaboration, including the following topics:

Strategies for effective team collaboration

Building a high-performance team is about much more than bringing the most skilled and talented people together. It is also not enough to simply get a bunch of online collaboration tools and expect a boost in productivity. If your team can't find a way to collaborate, all that talent will be wasted and no tool will prevent this.

Improving team collaboration is first and foremost about developing the right workflows. Being a productive, collaborative team involves exchanging knowledge, learning from one another, assigning tasks, forging relationships, shifting workloads flexibly to break up unexpected bottlenecks, and helping the team get things done while meeting deadlines.

Cultivating a culture of collaboration is not something that can be achieved overnight, but there are several practical strategies you can leverage – read our in-depth articles to learn more.

Team communication

Most teams spend a considerable amount of time communicating – they go to meetings, have calls on Zoom or other call services, chat on Slack, and fill each other's inboxes with emails. But that's just the superficial side of collaboration. What really matters is how efficient the team members are at delivering results together.

Somewhat counter-intuitively, that doesn't necessarily mean more communication. In fact, most truly productive and aligned teams spend little time actively communicating and more time getting meaningful work done.

Read on to learn more about what effective team communication looks like and how it can be achieved.

Knowledge sharing

Exchanging knowledge is a fundamental component of effective team collaboration. The more experienced members of your team accumulate a wealth of valuable information over time – industry know-how, best practices, customer knowledge, and so on.

The problem is, at most companies, this information remains undocumented, leading to shoulder taps and repetitive questions. Eliminating these knowledge silos and establishing a knowledge-sharing culture can make your entire team more productive.

Team meetings

Team meetings are a necessary evil. A team meeting can be a productive way to work through a challenging issue faster and get the team on the same page. But more often than not, they are a soul-sucking waste of everyone's time.

So how can you tell when a meeting is warranted and how do you make good use of the time you have? Read our guide on team meetings to learn more.

Remote team collaboration

Remote work is no longer a niche trend – it has been on the rise for years, and the COVID-19 pandemic only accelerated it.

But transitioning your team to a virtual setup can be challenging and requires more than setting up your Zoom and Slack accounts. Read these to learn more about remote team collaboration.

Document collaboration

A core part of team collaboration revolves around working with documents – sharing team OKRs, collaborating on press releases, creating meeting notes, writing project plans, documenting lessons learned, and so on.

Communicating through thoughtful long-form write-ups can also be a more efficient alternative to meetings and real-time chat. Quite often, however, teams don't have a structured approach to it: important documents get scattered across inboxes, chats, and shared drives and no one knows which version is the latest one. But it doesn't have to be like this.