There is so much talk out there about positive company cultures, holistic approaches to working, and that age-old issue, teamwork. But when you are expanding your business, or just making certain improvements, you need to think about how your team work well together, as well as on their own, and this begs the question, is working in a team better than working by ourselves, or is it on a case by case basis?

Is Teamwork The Be All And End All?

The first thing we need to tackle is the fact that teamwork doesn’t always need to factor in a company framework. Teamwork is certainly a beneficial tool, and we know that this is the key to success in the vast majority of business industries, but what if you are a small startup, where each individual component part needs supreme focus by itself? For example, if you have a skeleton staff, does this mean that each individual role needs to be undertaken with supreme precision? Or does it mean that in order to keep the business afloat, you have to encourage your workers to focus on their own tasks? In these instances, it is nigh on impossible to get a team to work together well because if one individual component was to slacken, this would have a devastating impact on the business. And while teamwork is a great way to build bonds in a human sense, if you are running an organization where it is staggered, for example, remote workers, is teamwork ultimately necessary, or should some good communication suffice from yourself? Of course, if you have remote workers dotted all over the country, or even the world, then it’s not possible to encourage your workers to meet up.

What If Collaboration Is Seldom Needed?

If collaboration is not needed, especially in an office environment, then you have to encourage ways for people to feedback if they feel part of a team or not. Even if people work individually, such as writers or bloggers, then they still need to feel that they are part of a solid unit. But you can do this in other ways. As already mentioned, communication is a great way to make people feel as part of a team, even if they aren’t contacting each other, and it’s just you sending out emails, or, conversely, you can encourage more group-based activities, not just Skype meetings on a weekly basis, but for those groups of people who are working remotely, but are located near to each other, maybe teamwork exercises could benefit. After all, many companies across the world congregate at conferences, and take part in team building activities, or even have fun together, by going to their local escape room and tackling tasks as a team, or just socializing. The one benefit of a meetup on this scale is that so many different working parts of a business are meeting up, and interacting in a human sense. This is something that will benefit remote workers because there can be a sense of isolation.

Should We Encourage More Teamwork?

Remote working a side, if you have people together in an office, should teamwork be encouraged more in a professional sense? It depends on the duties, if you have someone who is constantly on the phone all day, they are, naturally, not going to be able to socialize or speak with other people within their midst. So you need to think about encouraging teamwork in other ways. But this all depends on the type of person you have hired in the first place. The work doesn’t necessarily mean team building exercises would work effectively, but when you are focusing on creating a company culture, where the values of equality and collaboration, even in a non-professional sense, convene a better business where each working part is more efficient. And so, if we are giving duties to people who work by themselves, this will make for a more fragmented company. As a result, to encourage more teamwork, we need to think about the business in a more holistic sense. So, even if you have workers who are by themselves, encouraging these meetups, social functions, or just taking everybody away from their work for half an hour to encourage them to be more social, this will help people to feel like more of a unit, even if they don’t have to work together as a team.

Does A Better Team Mean A Better Business?

Some people prefer to work by themselves, and so, if you have a skeleton startup, where each piece of the puzzle needs to be self-sufficient, then the idea of teamwork is almost non-existent. But this is where those working under their own steam can tend to lose focus after a period of time, and feel demotivated. And it’s in these respects where it’s the leader’s responsibility to help each component see the bigger picture. This is what will provide satisfactory motivation, and will push productivity further. But, even from the perspective of each individual employee, they need to know what they are working towards, and so this is why the bigger picture is vital overall. But when people are on their own, from those at the back of the office to the remote worker, you still need to keep the machine well oiled. A better team does mean a better business, even if the individual components work by themselves. But it’s easy to lose sight, especially if you have people working by themselves, and prefer to have it that way. These people can almost get forgotten about. And this isn’t good for your business in the long run. While these people may be happy to work by themselves, does it mean that they are as productive as you think they are? Not only this, but those that have to work under their own initiative can feel uninspired from time to time, which is vital to consider if you are working within the creative industries. This is why that idea of working as a team, even if each individual person has their own duties, can mean so much to the productivity overall. Ultimately, when people are by themselves, they will feel in the dark, regardless of where they are in the world, even if they are right in front of you. The one constant to improve your business in this respect is communication. It’s a very tricky thing to get right if people are dotted all over the world, but they still feel part of a solidified unit, and this is where the location comes into its own. By implementing a certain practice where you are keeping everybody up to speed is what employees appreciate, and will take with them at the end of the working day.

So, which is better, teamwork, or individual working? It seems that teamwork will always win, hands down, even if the company consists of individual workers. Nobody ever likes to feel on their own in something, because this can make people think they are being left out of proceedings, and if this is the case, you’re not doing your job properly. Regardless of the duties involved in the job, you can’t use this as an excuse to not create a team that compliments each other well. Each moving part, no matter how individual it is, will always work towards one common goal. If people feel that they are on their own, you’re doing something wrong. Teamwork is something that, no matter how big or small the company, needs to be a constant. We can all work on our own, sure, but if we don’t see the fruits of our labors, and if you don’t feel as part of a solidified unit, this creates poor morale and doesn’t do your business any favors.

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