3 Ways In-Person Collaboration Empowers Early Career Talent

March 2, 2022
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3 Ways In-Person Collaboration Empowers Early Career Talent
Moira Lukas
March 2, 2022

The past few years have taught us that teams can fully function in a digital workplace. But that doesn’t mean in person collaboration is no longer critical to workplace success. In fact, meeting in person allows companies to improve engagement and productivity, establish strong team relationships, and set and adhere to clear goals. Moreover, the lack of in-person collaboration may prevent your more junior employees from performing to the best of their abilities.

As you consider office planning, here’s what to keep in mind to ensure your newest employees don’t miss out.

Your employees gain immediate feedback

Sharing feedback in real-time is important for any employee, but it’s especially helpful for people newer to the workforce. And with an increasingly dispersed workforce, sharing constructive feedback in the moment can be a challenge. More often, managers share follow-ups via Slack or Email, where it can be difficult to really make your point or make sure the other person is receptive. This is because most employees can quickly respond with an emoji on Slack or an automatic response email. While the sender will know that they have received the message, the lack of communication that directly addresses what was said is one reason why it can be difficult to know if the receiver has really understood the message.

Unlike digital communication methods, delivering immediate feedback in person can be more effective and help the recipient properly digest the information. At the moment, you can (and should) offer specific and relevant feedback to your employee. Whether it’s project or performance specific, in-person feedback is helpful to employees continuously progressing in their careers.

In-person collaboration is key to establishing long-term relationships inside an organization. In a physical office, employees are more likely to socialize with their colleagues during their breaks or through small-talk interactions. These small social pockets allow entry-level employees to develop empathy towards their coworkers, which can help build trust and motivate them to generate innovative ideas in times of collaboration. Furthermore, the Washington Post reports that in-person work fosters innovation in your employees, which can then significantly raise the productivity of your workforce. The article points out, "But in both studies, the probability of being promoted for the remote workers roughly halved relative to people who worked in person — suggesting serious long-term consequences of remote work." This is proof that working in-office can boost your employees' creativity and make them ripe for leadership.

Your employees can improve their communication skills

Setting up entry-level talent for long-term success involves helping them develop great communication skills. After all, in a first job you are hyper-aware of learning the ropes of the previously established work environment. It’s where your understanding of appropriate workplace etiquette is formed. In a completely digital workplace, this can be much more challenging to do.

With in-person collaboration, entry-level talent can enhance their sensitivity and receptiveness to non-verbal signals, which can then increase rapport, trust, and clarity within an organization. Furthermore, a study by a professor from the University of California highlights how in-person activities that support touch and informal interactions are key to sustaining the social relationships in your workplace, further improving your employees’ communication skills. By understanding how to communicate effectively through in-person teamwork, entry-level employees have a better chance of being great leaders down the line.

Lead collaborative teams toward success

In order to secure the success of your organization’s in-person collaboration efforts, you should have competent and effective managers who can masterfully lead your teams.

Managing a team today means understanding how work and communication shifts between online and in person interactions. It is a skill that can be learned and improved upon, yet often goes overlooked. Moreover, managers that use cutting edge technologies to guide collaborative teams are severely undervalued. An article on organizational leadership notes that technologies such as artificial intelligence, the cloud, and big data can empower an organization by enabling managers to create analytics and data-driven strategies. ⁠This is highly necessary when boosting the efficiency of organizations and in-person teams. The most capable managers of entry-level employees will optimize the experience for their new hire and tailor their approach.

Don’t let your organization lag behind by failing to maximize your entry-level talent. If you want to further improve collaboration within your organization, be sure to use hybrid office software such as OfficeTogether. 

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