Digital Team Working

Digital Team Working: working in a team thanks to digital tools

Digital Transformation is changing day by day, our way of being individuals and professionals. It is a change in which digital technologies play a leading role in enabling new forms of value. Let’s take the world of the cloud as an example: this technology allows us, at various levels and for various reasons, to no longer be anchored to a specific device or place not only to be able to view personal files such as documents, photos or videos but also to be able to do their job. The ability to easily share documents and information, to be able to work simultaneously on the same file, to be able to create dedicated discussion groups where communication exchanges take place in real-time, are all options that were not available before the advent of digital: someone would say that collaborating on the same project in a pre-digital era it was a little more complicated than it is today.

What is Digital Team Working?

That’s why today it is possible to talk about Digital Team Working which is the ability to work productively, to stimulate engagement between colleagues, and to take an active part in a team even remotely. This means being able to use the appropriate digital tools that facilitate and make remote collaboration possible and to do it in the most appropriate way to achieve the objectives set. Even communication plays an important role in a situation like this and a skill such as virtual communication can only come in handy to support the development of a skill such as digital team working.

However simple it is to collaborate today, thanks to the use of special digital tools, this does not mean that it is immediate. What does it mean? That as with any other activity, the collaboration also requires knowledge and mastery of specific behaviors, as well as specific tools, in order to truly bring about the desired results. After all, collaboration in the workplace has become one of the most current trends in the corporate organization: to improve productivity, and increase competitiveness, companies all over the world – regardless of their size and sector – are adopting more and more intense team working dynamics in which the concept of business unity becomes increasingly rarefied in favor of collaboration between individuals from different business areas to meet market needs. It is precisely for this reason that companies today try to take on a less rigid hierarchical structure and instead adopt an internal team organization focused on specific objectives to be achieved from time to time.

What does it take to work in a group in a digital world?

In order to work in a group, it is necessary first of all to develop the ability to “work in a group”, that is, the ability to make oneself available to integrate one’s energies with those of others to achieve the objectives. It might seem almost trivial, but in reality, it is something far more complex than it seems at first glance. This type of ability, in fact, is extremely subjective and falls more in the area of ​​relationships and emotions of the individual than in the cognitive one. Precisely for this reason the ability to work in a team is something that must be acquired with practice by putting in place appropriate behaviors.

Furthermore, one of the main characteristics of teamwork is to create groups to achieve specific objectives. This means that these are not often fixed working groups in which the same people always work in collaboration with each other, but that based on specific needs or specific projects, work teams are assembled to be able to achieve the result set in the best of the ways. Here, therefore, having a “result orientation” is a capacity that is particularly useful in the world of work: by this we mean the ability to constantly target their own and others’ activities to achieve the objectives set, providing a level of performance consistent with the nature and importance of the same.  

The characteristics of Digital Team Working

Given the growing importance that team working is taking on at the company level, the skill associated with this model of the organization of work activities is considered extremely important and today represents one of those skills to be developed to be competitive in the world of work as professionals. According to the framework provided by the “Web Literacy & 21st Century Skills” model developed by Mozilla, when we talk about digital team working we mean:

 Participation in the selection and use of digital tools that improve the productivity of the group and demonstrate an understanding of how digital technologies influence one’s own work and that of others.

 More in detail, according to Mozilla, this digital soft skill can be divided into 5 sub-skills which together contribute to the development and mastery of the main skill:

  1. Choose a digital tool to collaborate with others;
  2. Co-create digital resources and content together with your colleagues;
  3. Configure notifications to stay up to date with the work done by other group members;
  4. Working towards a shared goal using synchronous (which communication in real-time) and asynchronous (in which information exchange does not take place in real-time);
  5. Develop and communicate a series of shared expectations and results.

The tools of the digital team worker

If all this is valid in a collaborative context in which team members share the same space, it is probably even more so when a “widespread” team collaborates, that is, a group of people located not simply in offices different but potentially also in different continents. It is precisely in these situations that the contribution of the digital revolution is felt more strongly: thanks to digital tools for sharing and collaboration it is possible to cross any frontier and create the best possible work team, without setting the limit that the components must be located within the same corporate headquarters. 

From G Suite to Slack, through Dropbox, iCloud, Wrike, and Asana: there are numerous tools that, according to different professional needs, can be used to enable practice, and related skills, such as that of digital team working.

Nowadays collaborating within digital environments, or thanks to the use of digital tools, is increasingly relevant. In addition, certainly, to a certain innate predisposition, of collaboration is a soft skill, now increasingly digital, which in the world of work cannot be ignored and which must therefore be constantly cultivated. On the one hand, thanks to digital transformation, even the workplace can become ubiquitous, in the sense that for some professions (especially managerial ones) it is possible to carry out one’s work wherever you are, on the other hand also for those continues to work in a “traditional” way. It is possible to experience the benefits of a more collaboration-oriented work system thanks to technologies and tools that facilitate its use.

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