Pearson Change - Creating Collaborative Workplaces

"Competition makes us faster; Collaboration makes us better"Firefly

Why do we need to create collaborative workplaces?

by Karen Pearson News

Why do we need to create collaborative workplaces?

“The future of works is here, and it’s more collaborative than ever”.

This is according to the Future Workplace report that was commissioned by Unum in 2014.

What’s behind this prediction is the fact that today’s workforces are increasingly diverse with more women and older people working with organisations than ever before, resulting in a wide range of generations now working alongside one another.

We also have no retirement age and we are living longer which is resulting in more older workers within the workplace than ever before.

Technology is also playing an integral part.  We are more globalised and connected with a lot of collaboration now happening online.

And austerity is driving lots of change as organisations are finding it more difficult to afford expensive, overly hierarchical structures where there are silos of technical expertise throughout the organisation.

There is now a stronger requirement for multiskilled roles which again work more successfully through collaborative working.

As a result, this is driving the need for more flatter structures and less management – again resulting in more of a requirement for collaboration.

All of this is driving lots of change.  We now have ‘change fatigue’ in our workplaces which drives dis-engagement, mistrust and presenteeism, all at a time that we need a workforce to be more collaborative in order to remain a sustainable business.

Very challenging times that are producing some interesting results in relation to the design and structures of organisations and what the future workplace needs to look like.

What are some of the changes that are happening and key considerations to these trends?

  • Moving away from the historical control and command leadership style.  This top down approach to leadership appears to be less sustainable from a cost perspective and it hasn’t really provided enough of a positive impact on the working environment.


    We are starting to see more empowerment given to employees, slowly moving away from the typical “parent/child” relationship that a control and command leadership style creates.

    More and more research is coming out in relation to the psychology of work which is highlighting the importance that purpose and responsibility has on how engaged a person is in their work.


  • This leads nicely on to the increased thinking around self-managed teams.  The key question here “is a self-management model more beneficial and effective that a traditional model now”?  What do you think?

Several organisations have already implemented a self-managed model. Lego, along with companies such as Netflix, now have a flatter management structure in place.  Layers of management have been effectively stripped out leaving only the employees, some team leaders and an exec team.

Self-managed team models may be something to seriously consider if you are looking to flatten the management structure within your organisation.

We already know the UK are behind with productivity levels, but evidence shows us now the psychological impact that feeling involved and having purpose at work has within our working lives and how this leads to greater productivity levels.

So, with all these workplace trends and future predictions, can working collaboratively be the solution?  Would working collaboratively support the workplaces of the future?

I would say yes and if you are interested in having a chat about how this could work within your organisation get in touch by clicking here

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