With remote and hybrid working here to stay, collaboration has changed for businesses across the world. Now more than ever, it’s fundamental to the way teams work together – impacting everything from communication and productivity to ongoing innovation and success.
Put simply, businesses that collaborate well, perform well. Read on for our 7 top trends for collaboration in 2023 – and how you can implement them in your organization.
1. Embrace hybrid working
By 2023, most organizations have made their decision when it comes to hybrid working. More specifically, will they offer it to their workforce? That decision was a firm ‘yes’ for around three quarters of them. But there’s a difference between allowing a hybrid working model and actually facilitating it.
To enable collaborative hybrid working, teams need the right tools in the office and wherever else they choose to work. As a minimum, that includes:
- A cloud environment for file sharing across office and remote workers
- Project management software used by everyone
- Communication tools covering voice, video and instant messaging
2. Put collaboration at the core
Many businesses will already use collaboration software such as Microsoft Teams. But in 2023, we expect a change to the way it’s used. Rather than being a peripheral part of day-to-day work, this software can be used as a central hub for communication, support and idea-sharing.
Most importantly, collaboration software can (and should) be integrated with other tools your team uses on a day-to-day basis. From CRM software to voice calling infrastructure, you can create a central hub that acts as a virtual office environment for both remote and in-office team members.
3. Take video to the next level
Video is vital in the modern workplace, connecting remote workers (and those in-office) for better communication and collaboration. In 2023, that can be taken to the next level with additional features such as:
- Whiteboarding for idea storming sessions
- Real-time transcriptions or translations to improve understanding
- AI tools that improve interactions
- Gamification to make video calls more engaging and immersive
Additionally, plenty of organizations are still yet to implement hybrid meeting rooms. These include specific requirements for display, audio, space and scheduling to create a level playing field for team members, no matter where they’re joining from.
4. Personalize for productivity
No two members of your team are the same. Quite the opposite in fact. In every organization, you’ll find a diverse spectrum of people – encompassing different ages (or generations), specialisms, and quite simply preferences. So why would you expect all of those people to work in the same way, using the exact same tools?
That’s where personas come into play. These experience profiles factor in how different employees use the technology available to them. It allows you to configure tools like Microsoft Teams without making deployment and management a nightmare. So, everyone can have the right integrations and apps available to them, without any compromise on the all-important deadlines and performance metrics.
5. Don’t forget to empathize
Just because employees aren’t physically present, doesn’t mean their wellbeing should be ignored. Empathy is another major trend for 2023, with a number of ways to achieve it.
Firstly, there are a selection of tools available to check in on staff, provide support to cope with stress or anxiety, and even manage their day or workload. They can be integrated with the tools you already use, though some are already built in. Using Microsoft Teams, for instance, employees can select times when they want to avoid meetings if they want to avoid video call fatigue.
But it’s also important to remember the role of voice calling. As we discussed in our blog post on empathy in the workplace, voice calling provides a mid-way point between full-frontal video calling and instant messaging which can sometimes be a little too impersonal.
6. Engage teams with immersive tech
While video calling still feels new to some businesses, technology is continually developing with new ways to improve the experience. One of the most exciting areas is augmented reality, which combines virtual enhancements with real-world objects to improve collaboration in team meetings.
Video calls can be augmented with captions, feedback or other insights from AI bots. There are also more immersive options, embracing the Metaverse to allow users to communicate with virtual avatars to improve engagement and – above all else – make meetings more fun.
7. Focus on flexibility
In 2022, we highlighted the emerging trend of composability. In short, businesses need to build in a way that’s flexible and adaptable, based on their needs (and their customers’) now and in the future. Using interchangeable building blocks is one way of doing so, allowing you to recompose your organization whenever needed. Think of a versatile, all-purpose contact centre versus a call centre specifically set up for voice calling.
That need for flexibility will continue in 2023, extending to your choice of technology. This new flexible-first approach calls for communications networks that are consolidated with vendors, hardware, and software. Having a single, streamlined contract will allow you to scale up or down more freely and only ever pay for what you need.
A great way to do this is by making the most of your existing investments. Again, Microsoft Teams is a case in point. With integrations for voice calling, call recording, monitoring and reporting, and more, Microsoft Teams can be levelled up into an inclusive collaboration and communication platform.
Stay ahead of the game in 2023
Collaboration continues to be key in 2023. Whether you’re looking to deploy the latest video calling technology or streamline your investments into one consolidated contract, Aura can help.
With a multi-vendor approach and local experts across the globe, we can tailor our services to your organization’s needs, then wrap it all up with one service, one contract, and one point of contact.
To find out more, arrange a call with our team today.