What is Collaboration?

Collaboration is a working practice whereby individuals work together for a common purpose to achieve business benefit. 

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Collaboration enables individuals to work together to achieve a defined and common business purpose. It exists in two forms:

  • Synchronous, where everyone interacts in real-time, as in online meetings, through instant messaging, or via Skype, and
  • Asynchronous, where the interaction can be time-shifted, as when uploading documents or annotations to shared workspaces or making contributions to a wiki

Shared workspaces are among the most visible entries in the collaboration space.  Aimed at rolling document and application sharing up with chat and perhaps versioning and other auditing capabilities, they may have more or fewer features and may be available either for license or on a syndicated basis “in the cloud,” as they say. Google Docs is a notable example of the latter, Microsoft SharePoint and EMC Documentum eRoom of the former.

What Are Collaboration Skills?

Collaboration skills are what enable you to work well with others. Most work environments require collaboration, so these skills are essential. These skills include understanding a variety of perspectives, managing priorities from everyone in the group, and meeting expectations as a reliable member of a team.

Successful collaboration requires a cooperative spirit and mutual respect. Employers typically seek employees that function effectively as part of a team and are willing to balance personal achievement with group goals.

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