Company-wide alignment is no simple task – the number of apps, amount of information, and complexity workers encounter daily has increased, resulting in barriers that hinder team productivity. According to the Productivity Prohibitors infographic created by SurePayroll, lost productivity costs employers $1.8 trillion each year.

Forced to operate in an environment of economic uncertainty, companies cannot afford the cost of lost productivity in their organizations. Check out these four common barriers that hinder team productivity and how to overcome them with Atlassian Together.

1. Distributed collaboration

In a post-pandemic world, where work gets done looks very different. Some companies are choosing to return to pre-pandemic models with mandatory “in-office” days. Others are embracing hybrid work, allowing their teams to be fully remote and collaborate distributedly. Either way, work isn’t happening in one place, and this presents teams and leaders with the unique challenge of managing priorities across multiple geographies, time zones, and cultural differences. Distributed teams are often faced with:

  • Lack of visibility – important context is not easily found and teams don’t know who’s working on what or where information lives.
  • Communication & coordination constraints – trying to meet with teammates in three different time zones, needing an answer from a teammate who isn’t online line yet, and comments without context are bound to happen.
  • Poor processes – there might be duplicative workstreams, no standardization on collective knowledge or documentation, and misalignment on goals and decisions.

To overcome this, teams should prioritize asynchronous communication and use tools that allow them to provide contextual feedback and updates on their progress.

2. Tool proliferation

There are many technologies or applications that can boost productivity. Workers and teams collect these apps, turning them into toolsets to help them get their work done faster and better. However, more apps isn’t always the best solution. In fact, there’s a threshold at which the number of apps a worker uses begins to slow them down instead of helping them get their work done. For example, when a worker moves from one task or app to another to complete a task, they’ll experience context switching, which is a common cause of decreased productivity in the workplace.

did you know?

In a Qatalog study, 45% of surveyed employees say that context switching makes them less productive, noting that they spend too much of their day switching between online tools and applications.

Unrestrained tool proliferation can lead to increased costs, tooling redundancies, and complex tool environments that lead to admin strain. To manage costs and balance productivity, organizations should be intentional with their tooling decisions and optimize them around team needs.

3. Team alignment

Companies are typically organized by functionality – each team has a purpose or a function they provide based on their area of expertise, often using their own processes and tools to get their work done. While this may help an individual team be productive, it can cause a devastating ripple effect where teams work in tool silos without insights into another team’s work. Then, they fail to make connections to existing knowledge and data, leading to misalignment on initiatives and resulting in inefficient and duplicative efforts across the organization.

To combat the chaos of executing work across different departments, teams, and tools, an organization might require teams to standardize on one tool set. Although all-in-one tools sound compelling, these types of tools can actually lead to a different set of challenges. For example, teams are forced to operate using limited workflows and features, not allowing them to work the way they want – stunting creativity. Eventually, workers will find new ways to work around the standardized toolset and end up with new inefficiencies.

Teams need a better approach, one where work is discoverable in real-time, collaboration and workflows are streamlined, knowledge is easily shared, and teams can actively engage with each other – sharing key information to move work along. More shared knowledge between teams means fewer new team and tool silos, which will increase overall team productivity.

4. Employee engagement

Engaged employees are involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace. But actively disengaged employees are disgruntled and disloyal because most of their workplace needs are unmet. According to a survey conducted by Gallup, only 32% of full- and part-time employees working for organizations are engaged, while 18% are actively disengaged. The solution seems simple – just find more engaged employees to boost productivity, right?

Easier said than done. Engagement is not a characteristic of employees, but rather an experience created by organizations, managers, and team members. Company culture plays a large role in building a highly engaged, collaborative organization and can take years of investment and effort before it pays off. But the effort seems worthwhile. Gallup’s most recent employee engagement meta-analysis shows that engagement nets productivity, which nets profitability – businesses with engaged workers have 23% higher profits.

Employee engagement doesn’t just happen on its own. In addition to Atlassian’s recommended tactics, organizations should invest in solutions that build better employee experiences, leveraging collaboration and communication to improve connection.

Maximize productivity with one solution

To reduce barriers and maximize productivity, organizations need a solution that allows their employees to work the way they want while staying aligned with leadership and other teams. They need a toolset that gives them visibility and flexibility to get their work done. That’s why we built Atlassian Together.

Organizations can battle tool proliferation by centralizing work on a single subscription to Atlassian’s best-in-breed work management products:

  • Trello can be used by distributed teams to manage and organize teamwork, meetings, brainstorms, and more.
  • Jira Work Management can be used for projects and processes that have a large team or more structured workflows. Teams can also manage tasks, deadlines, and deliverables – no matter where they are in the world.
  • Atlas is a teamwork directory that improves team alignment by identifying the relationship between teams, work, and goals. Teams can use Atlas as a way to follow along on project progress or goal status without ever needing to set up a meeting.
  • Confluence, the collaborative knowledge hub, helps build better employee experiences and improves employee engagement. It gives workers and teams access to the right information at the right time and can be used to create, organize, and collaborate on content.
  • Access keeps work safe, offering company-wide visibility, control, and security.

Over 150,000 organizations throughout the world use Atlassian’s work management products today. With Atlassian Together, organizations have a complete toolset that helps teams choose the best tool for the job while ensuring alignment. These products can be used together (or separately) in any number of ways, empowering work to flow freely across an entire organization.

4 common barriers that hinder team productivity and how to overcome them