What Is Collaboration in the Workplace? - Definition, Benefits & Examples

What Is Collaboration in the Workplace? - Definition, Benefits & Examples
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  • 0:01 Collaboration in the Workplace
  • 1:54 Benefits
  • 4:11 Examples
  • 5:43 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Aaron Hill

Aaron has worked in the financial industry for 14 years and has Accounting & Economics degree and masters in Business Administration. He is an accredited wealth manager.

Learn what collaboration in the workplace is and some of the many benefits that it can offer to both employees and companies. Find out some examples of how you can benefit through this type of collaboration.

Collaboration in the Workplace

If you asked several CEOs or human resource professionals what goals or elements were important to their success, you would probably get some phrases and corporate terms that kept coming up. Collaboration in the workplace would certainly be one of the more common answers. It is often the key to much of your success in corporate America. So what is workplace collaboration? Let's explore that answer and look at some of the benefits it offers!

Collaboration in the workplace is when two or more people (often groups) work together through idea sharing and thinking to accomplish a common goal. It is simply teamwork taken to a higher level. Teamwork is often a physical joining of two people or a group to accomplish a task. With the changes and advancements in technology, such as high-speed Internet, web-based programs, file sharing, email and video-conferencing, collaboration has become a more productive way of doing things. Collaboration in the workplace incorporates teamwork and several other aspects, such as the following:

  • Thinking and brainstorming ideas to provide solutions - This key element brings groups together to offer different perspectives and expertise to solve for common problems. The phrase 'putting our heads together' would be a good example of this important element of collaboration.
  • A strong sense of purpose - Groups and individuals who truly collaborate see the value in working together. Collaboration is not forced upon someone. There should be a meaningful reason for working together, and it should benefit both parties or the company as a whole.
  • Equal participation - In corporate America, a collaborative manager or leader may often say, 'leave your titles at the door.' Treating everyone as equals when collaborating can open up communication and encourage ideas from all levels of the company or department, not just the managers or directors.


There are many benefits to collaborating in the workplace. Let's look at some of those benefits in more detail.

Access to Skills and Strengths

When companies or departments collaborate, they are able to utilize the strengths and skills of everyone involved. For example, you may struggle with presentation skills but know all the benefits and challenges of a particular task or solution. Collaborating will enable you to share your knowledge and work with someone who can present the ideas in the best fashion. This will increase your odds of getting a proposal approved through upper management. The more people involved, the more skills you have access to!

Develop Employee Skills

The company and employees benefit from collaboration because as a result of sharing ideas and working together, they see how others think, negotiate and operate. This gives employees a better understanding of how the company operates at a higher level and not just their individual department. The skills and knowledge that each employee can pick up from others can be utilized or taken back to their own department to make improvements or enhancements.

Solve Problems and Innovate Faster

What may take you three months to solve on your own may only take three hours to solve in a collaborative workplace. Access to several employees with unique expertise and viewpoints will most likely allow you to come up with ideas and solutions that you may not have thought of on your own at a faster pace.

Work Efficiency (Divide and Conquer)

Collaborating in the workplace allows businesses to complete important projects and initiatives in a more efficient manner. With multiple individuals or departments involved, work can be distributed more evenly and efficiently to those who have the time and expertise. This is often referred to as a divide and conquer strategy. Instead of one or two individuals working on something for months, a team of six or eight individuals could each take a small-specialized part and accomplish the entire thing in a week.

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