Should you rally the troops... or go solo? Compare the benefits of working as a team with working by yourself.
The 4-hour meeting week and 25 other secrets from innovative, fast-moving teams
If you’ve ever been on a team project, you know that it can be both rewarding and frustrating. That’s why most of us have found that the key to a successful team collaboration is finding the right balance between individual effort and group work.
Find the balance between teamwork and going it alone is a skill that applies not only to projects in the workplace, but in all of our lives.
There can be a great deal of value in working as a group.
For example, if you’re working on a project alone, it’s possible that you might miss out on some great ideas that someone else might share with the group once they see what you have already done. Likewise, when everyone works together on one goal, it creates an atmosphere of teamwork and cooperation which naturally leads to success.
Here are some of the amazing benefits of team collaboration.
Increased productivity. The more people work together, the more they can accomplish during each day. As a result, the quality of the final product is usually better – even if individual efforts are not wildly superior to each other.
Profitability. By working together as a team, you are capable of doing things that would have been extraordinarily difficult to do if you were working alone. This lets you accomplish tasks that you otherwise might have to pay outside contractors to do.
Better decisions. When more people are allowed to have input into the decision-making process, you incorporate more perspectives and skillsets, often resulting in better decisions, provided the team is capable of reconciling any disagreements.
Increased creativity. When there is an environment of cooperation, people tend to think of new and innovative ways to solve problems that they might not have considered otherwise.
Improved customer service. The team approach works really well when it comes to providing customer service. A team environment can facilitate the sharing of ideas, knowledge, challenges, and solutions to customer issues, all of which helps everyone create a better relationship with your customers. This in turn leads to more satisfied customers and greater sales.
Shared knowledge. Working in a team environment allows everyone to learn from each other. This can be especially beneficial to people who have worked on the same projects for a long time. It helps them maintain their skills and stay up-to-date on all the latest information.
An increase in job satisfaction. When you work as part of a team, you get many opportunities to help other people with their goals, which serves as an added source of motivation and job satisfaction.
More efficient processes. When everyone works together on a particular project, there is less need to repeat the same steps over and over again. This makes the process more efficient overall, resulting in greatly improved results.
Better evaluation of your success. When you work alone, it can be difficult to accurately assess your achievements. However, if you work in a team, you’re more likely to be able to see the impact of your efforts on the overall project.
Drive better team collaboration through effective staff meetings and team meetings and by using these project meeting agenda templates.
But if working alone is best for your goals and projects, so be it. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. But why would you want to work alone?
There are many reasons people prefer working alone:
Less distraction. It’s easier to concentrate on your ultimate goals when you are not distracted by the concerns of other people.
More opportunity for individual creativity. Because there is no one to tell you what you must or should do, you have more opportunities to be creative and bring your own unique vision to a project.
Greater responsibility for your own actions. If you work alone, there is no one else to blame for your mistakes. In other words, you can take all the blame if something goes wrong. But if you work in a team, the project leaders are free to take blame for things that go wrong as a result of their choices and orders.
Time to spend with loved ones. When you are working on a long-term project with some other people, there may be specific hours that require your attention and dedication. However, if you are working alone on that same project, you may have control of when you are working and when you are able to spend time with your family and friends.
More flexibility. Working with others sometimes requires you to show flexibility that may not be possible if you are working alone. For example, a team can stay on schedule even when one member is sick or has to take care of an emergency.
Quick tips for working with your team in a super-productive manner
How to run effective team meetings — including agenda examples, best practices, and other critical meeting tips.