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Advanced Workplace Institute

Online Workshop

Working Online

To close the series, the final workshop provides valuable insights into the factors that impact the performance of teams, including top tips on how to choose the right tools and technology for effective collaboration.
AWA Advanced Workplace Associates: Cognitive Performance

Workshop Aims

  • Identify what we need to have more effective teams
  • Selecting the right technology for your teams needs
  • What is communication richness, and how do we ensure it
  • The six key factors affecting team performance
  • How do we facilitate effective collaboration in our teams
AWA Advanced Workplace Associates: Cognitive Fitness

The Issue

If people aren’t used to using the technologies that they’ll need to rely on – or they don’t use them in the right way, then problems can ensue. People can’t find what they need, don’t connect with colleagues because they are not competent in the use of the technology, or lose touch with what’s happening with colleagues if they don’t keep up to date.

Fortunately, tools like Microsoft Teams provide a well joined up experience for people working apart – as well as when they are in the office together. So we need to ensure that everyone has the right level of competence and is sufficiently motivated to adopt the right practices and behaviours.

Event Summary

Workshop 4 in the Working AWAy series helped participants identify which type of technology, if any, would best serve their needs and lead to better social cohesion within their teams. We know from previous session that social cohesion, and the factors that contribute to it, are a major key to managing agile teams effectively.

The session lasted 90 minutes and participants were asked to think about what types of interactions they were having with their work colleagues, and what the purpose of them is. This was looked at in regards to perceived effectiveness and then compare to how their team interactions were prior to the Covid-19 lockdown.  

There were three key takeaways from this session. Firstly, not all communication medium s are created equal. The richness of each communication medium varies. A scale of these can be seen in the summary handout, accessible at the top of this page. It is also important to use the right medium for the right desired outcome. Not all interactions require a meeting. The ability to create and improve social cohesion also varies depending on the medium but also on how it is being used. A highly rich medium, may not lead to high levels of social cohesion.

Key take away two. The Advanced Workplace Institute has undertaken in collaboration with the Center of Evidence Based Management, we identified through scientific research, primary factors that facilitate managing agile teams in collaboration. Communication richness was a core part of this finding. A diagram of the factors can be found in the summary hand out. The primary impact of team performance is creating a sense of trust within the team.

Key take away three. Each team is unique and are finding ways to stay connected, communicate, work and collaborate during lockdown. Part of this transition involves changing working habits and communication habits of individuals but also collectively as teams. The inevitability of this is that there may be painful teething problems until new habits are formed and ways of working are agreed. Participants in the session shared what their teams are currently doing which works for them as well as what has not worked for them. Some of their suggestions and some from the AWI team are also included on the handout.

To download this handout, please click here.

For further reading on the topic of working well at home, please read our Working Well at Home article.

For further information on how to become a member of the Advanced Workplace Institute and continually develop individually, as a team and as an organisation, please get in contact.

Lewis Crompton

Our Contributors
AWA Advanced Workplace Associates: Colombine Gardair, Senior Associate

Senior Associate, AWA

Colombine is a Senior Associates with AWA. She is a cognitive engineer by training and holds a PhD in human interactions. She has worked in a range of sectors including automotive, financial services and education and brings a solid research background and extensive experience of user-centred design.

As a human factors specialist, she is skilled at gathering and understanding the needs of users and translating them into functional specifications. Her work focuses on developing workplaces and experiences that deliver value to organisations by enhancing the day to day satisfaction of their people.

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