Eliminating selfish habits in the workplace


Collaboration has always been crucial to businesses. More recently it has become somewhat of a buzzword, banded about by teams as the key to productivity, efficiency and a competitive edge in the age of digital business.

With more people working from home or mobile working, cooperative relationships are becoming both more important and more difficult, and recent research conducted by Sharp has revealed that effective collaboration is more of an ambition than a reality for UK offices.

Defined by the Centre for Digital Business as ‘when two or more people come together to create something that they could not have created on their own’, collaboration has become increasingly difficult to maintain in the workplace as more people continue to embrace working from home or ‘on the move’. Selfish habits have served only to amplify this issue.

>See also: Reimagining the workplace: how the office is changing

Sharp’s survey of 1,000 UK office workers exposed a lack of teamwork and selfish habits blighting businesses across the country.

The research revealed that just under half of employees in the UK (46%) work with colleagues who forget to share important documents or information, resulting in wasted revenue, opportunities and time – something that once spent is never claimed back.

Despite noticing these irritating traits in their colleagues, over a quarter of UK employees (26%) prefer to ignore the problem, 21% leave notes in communal areas and one fifth complain to others secretly via email.

These findings might seem familiar or even trivial to those who recognise these issues within their own business, but they do offer serious implications.

If businesses aren’t equipped to collaborate effectively, fostering teamwork and encouraging timely sharing of accurate information, they are losing opportunities to expand and grow.

Failure to take control over selfish habits and internal collaboration problems will also discourage staff, depriving them of a happier and more productive workplace.

>See also: Are workers ready for the workplace of the future?

Despite all of the above, businesses might need to be careful about blaming employees solely for collaboration woes. Ironically, it could actually be the businesses bringing this collaboration deficit on themselves, as 45% of employees think their office technology makes it more difficult to share information.

What’s more, half of employees ignore issues with communal office technology when spotted. Businesses will need to correct these issues quickly if they want to ensure that their technology can still encourage and compliment teamwork between staff.

Technology is constantly evolving most aspects of our lives for the better, so the idea that it could be a hindrance to teamwork and detrimental to our ability to collaborate seems almost comical.

However, what this idea does highlight is how crucial it is for businesses to ensure that the right technology is in place. With the right products and applications, employees can work in ways which best suit them and reap the rewards that effective teamwork promises.


Sourced by Stuart Sykes, managing director at Sharp Business Systems UK

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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