Does Teamwork Make Us More Effective as Individuals?
Prefer to work alone? The modern workplace is probably pretty hard on you. Most companies emphasize teamwork these days, as requiring employees to work together is believed to encourage collaboration and increase efficiency and creativity. The good news is that you don’t have to a natural team player to see some benefits from (occasional) teamwork.
(Photo Credit: rkramer62/Flickr)
Marissa Mayer cited a number of logical reasons for bringing Yahoo’s work-from-home employees back to the office, such as “to become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side,” and “some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings,” and “speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home.”
Whether you agree or disagree with Mayer’s assessment and decision, the way teamwork often benefits an organization are clear. In addition to ease of communication and the efficiency that comes with proximity, two heads are often better than one. Teamwork among co-workers also improves relations between the employees, making a more comfortable and pleasant work environment. This, in turn, improves morale. And when morale is high, productivity goes up.
Effective Team Members
Blogger Ahmed Sharawy opines that effective team members achieve the organization’s goals by both completing tasks and maintaining social relations with colleagues. Team members benefit individually from teamwork because they develop their own capabilities and knowledge base when working as part of a team.
In other words, we learn from each other when working as team. We take those lessons with us and become more effective, efficient, and productive individuals.
Other individual benefits from the experience of teamwork include a greater sense of accomplishment. What the team produces in a shorter amount of time is the collective responsibility of all team members. This sense of accomplishment boosts morale, which in turn, boosts productivity on the next project, be it individual or part of a team.
The lesson in all of this is while we recognize the benefits of teamwork for the organization, the experience of teamwork may help the individual worker grow and learn. The sense of accomplishment that comes with successful team projects boosts individual morale and productivity. Perhaps all workers should have the opportunity to participate in teams at some point in their careers. Those who prefer working alone may bring the benefits back to their individual work; they may grow from the experience.
Tell Us What You Think
Do you feel you benefit personally from working as part of a team? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.