Collaboration, Weighted Scales

How Much Is Too Much? A Balancing Act of Collaboration Tools

Implementing collaboration tools is a bit like the story of Goldilocks trying to find the right porridge. While collaboration tools are a great resource, if there are too many of them, not enough, or mismanagement of them, it can leave teams confused and frustrated. So how can companies strike the perfect balance so employees feel these tools are “just right” for their business?

Recent articles from The New York Times and Recode showcase the growing number of employees overwhelmed by the number of Slack messages they receive, stating the platform is counterproductive to efficient and seamless communication.

At last month’s Slack’s Frontiers conference, business leaders from Ford Motor Co. and Wayfair LLC countered some of this criticism by discussing how tools such as Slack have brought executives into the fold more and aided workplace productivity.

Rahul Singh, Ford’s executive mobility director, stated that “people are connecting in ways they didn’t before across different geographies and teams.” As a result of Slack, executive leaders were now able to see where people were struggling and speed up feedback on projects.

Similarly, Wayfair used one of Slack’s most popular features of running AMA, or “ask me anything,” sessions that encourages all team members to join in, connecting Gen Z employees with company executives and millennial workers. 

As with any communications platform, it takes companies time to learn individual ways they can best utilize these tools. Even email, which still stands as the universal platform for open online communication, makes headlines from time to time for cluttering inboxes and frazzling employees.

In many of these cases, it’s less about the tools and more how businesses implement them. As we’ve seen with Ford and Wayfair, there are opportunities to use these platforms for enhanced communications — it’s all about instituting a plan that strikes the right balance and works best for your company’s needs.

Published 07/26/19