What are the keys to making work teams more efficient?
Teleworking and the hybrid working modality have been consolidated in the workplace following the COVID-19 pandemic. Faced with this dominant business modality, the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) conducted a survey to analyze what elements and tools influence to make work teams effective in their work.
“Transformative leadership fosters the capacity for resilience and the taking on of new challenges by employees,” says Pilar Ficapal Cusi, professor of economics and business studies at UOC and one of the study’s authors. , which is published in the Journal of Cleaner Production.
If we speak from the point of view of the group and the organization, “the shared vision, the team’s belief in its own creative effectiveness, the ability to think openly about how its members connect to adapt to changes. new circumstances and the security of participation are fundamental elements that lead to effective performance, ”adds the UOC researcher.
The study analyzes the responses of 654 work teams, with a total of 3,190 employees from different companies located in Spain. 57% were women and 43% were men. Group sizes ranged from 3 to 10 members and the average age was around 37 years. The questionnaires were carried out between April 2016 and December 2017.
“The results show that leadership, which tends to be a source of inspiration and motivation for achieving results, is essential for boosting the perceived performance of the team,” says Mihaela Enache Zegheru, professor of economics and of Business Studies at UOC and another of the study authors, with Professor Joan Torrent Sellens.
According to research, setting realistic goals is also important for the group to function. “Members need clearly defined and agreed goals. In addition, these should be achievable but challenging and motivate a common vision, ”says Enache Zegheru.
Research is also having repercussions on companies, showing that organizations that promote collaborative work environments, stimulate creativity and innovation, improve the performance of their teams. Additionally, organizational practices that encourage open communication and the participation of team members in decision-making processes can help initiate and develop creative potential.
The advantages and disadvantages of teleworking
Although the questionnaires were conducted before the current pandemic, the researchers are drawing some conclusions from their analysis and other previous research that could be applied in the current scenario, especially regarding teleworking, an option that has increased to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV -2.
“Teleworking is a good way to cut costs or improve productivity in the short term. However, it was also pointed out that processes based on creativity or innovation have more difficulties in the context of remote work ”, underline the authors.
The researchers warn that despite the fact that teleworking has advantages such as flexible hours, reduced mobility and greater efficiency at work, the constant use of technology leads to an overabundance of information which, if it is greater than those of the employees can manage effectively, they generate negative effects such as overwork, techno-stress, exhaustion or work-home conflict.
“In the current working environment, which has been hit hard by the health crisis, it is important for the team to develop mechanisms to deal with potentially stressful environments, accept challenges and collectively develop creative and innovative ideas”, says Ficapal Cusi.
For Enache Zegheru, “here the role of the leader plays an important role. In this context, a leadership that is task-oriented, but which also supports and motivates the team, contributes to the good functioning of the group.
In addition, it is relevant that employees perceive organizational support, since, according to the authors, “the adjustment between the capacities, expectations and needs of each member of the team and the balance between the demands of the position. and the work resources that are essential for the well-being of the collaborators.