Collaboration tool rises as the Work-Life Balance strives trend

Published : Thursday, August 23, 2018, 9:20 am
ACROFAN=Jae-Yong Ryu | | SNS
As the Work-Life balance culture is becoming more and more prevalent, there is a growing interest in collaboration tools for systematic task management and efficient teamwork support.

Many experts claim that productive collaboration is likely to increase work satisfaction through the realization of Work-Life Balance. Collaboration task is already taking more than half of the working hours and the task proportion even increases further for general office workers. According to reports from McKinsey and Korea Productivity Center, typical knowledge workers spend 70% of their working time on collaborative communication and searching information.

Along with the rising trend, the global collaboration tools market is experiencing significant growth every year. According to the Global Cloud Collaboration Market 2016-2020 Report published by Technavio, a UK market research firm, the global cloud collaboration tool market is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 11% from the year 2016 to the year 2020. More interesting part is that the growth rate in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to outgrow the global average with an annual average rate of 16%.

Also, ReportLinker, a US market researching firm forecasts that the global collaboration tool market will grow to $ 59.9 billion by the year 2023 from $ 34.5 billion this year with annual CAGR of 11%.

The rapid growth of the global collaborative tool market is due to the fact that collaborative tools play a large role in effective communication and minimization of data integration costs between departments within the company or even between companies. Experts are consistently emphasizing that if collaboration efficiency increases within a limited working hour, it can lead to a reduction in management costs as well as improvement of corporate service quality from a long-term perspective. Especially, as the devices that access information are diversified due to the proliferation of mobile devices, the collaboration tools are also being expanded to web-based services or mobile apps.

The proliferation of Work-Life Balance trend will not only lead to the introduction of collaboration tools but will also change the culture of collaboration among companies. In the meantime, the collaborative methods preferred by domestic companies have been conducted in a timelined manner; taking responsibility for their work, communicating in real time, and instructing and performing tasks. The optimized collaboration solution for domestic companies would be the timeline-based SNS collaborating platform and real-time communication-based messenger collaborating solution.

However, this method has high team efficiency, but individual users have to invest a lot of working hours, and it has been pointed out that the decrease of work concentration due to real-time response is a disadvantage. Timeline method requires too much time to search past data or information, and it is structured to be interrupted in the midst of business hours because the prompt reply is required. According to a study by Professor Gloria Janet Mark, an informatics professor at the University of California, regular office workers are being interrupted once every 11 minutes and it takes an average of 25 minutes for workers to refocus on their tasks.

An emerging solution to overcome these limitations is the issue-based collaboration tool. Also known as the Third Generation Collaboration Solutions and this tool supports data sharing, communication, decision making, and issue management as well as other collaborating tools, but the crucial difference is that the collaboration environment is fully reflecting the workflow.

For instance, ‘Collabee’, the most well-known issue-based collaboration tool follows the workflow that takes place in the real work environment. If you create a 'project space' for each team or each project, everyone can contribute based on ideas or issues. Within the generated issue, various collaborations can be performed such as delivering feedback through comments, assigning tasks, requesting for decision making, sharing files, etc. All the communication for solving the issue can be confirmed on one page. In addition, a user can check project progress by Kanban method, or can solely check user’s own issue through the news feed section.

Work-Life Balance is the natural flow and the demand that can no longer be resisted. As a result, companies can not postpone their homework, which should increase the productivity while guaranteeing the balance in between work and life. Collaboration tool is not a panacea for actualizing the balance, but it's a feasible solution. It is time to check, whether the issue-based collaboration tool will become the mainstream in Korea with the rising work-life balance trend.

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