Why digital collaboration is often better than face-to-face

Posted by Janice Scheckter on 29 September 2016 10:35 AM CAT

If you believe that the best and most innovative interactions will always rely on face-to-face engagements, you may be missing out on what digital collaboration can do for your team.


Here’s why I think digital collaboration often produces better outputs.

A focus on the task itself

There are times when meetings that require collaboration, happen in-between other meetings and often the mind lingers with the last one or speeds to the next. Mindfulness and collaboration are clearly great partners but what happens when the two don’t collide? I find there are a number of emotions and thoughts going on in a meeting like…

“stressing about that deadline – hope this is quick”

“that last meeting was brilliant and I know exactly what the next steps are”

“Sandra’s looking a little plump. OMG is she pregnant? OMG who is going to support me when she goes on maternity leave”

Wouldn’t it be better if the task was shared digitally, people looked at it mindfully, and contribution and commentary were captured accordingly?

2.    A focus on the personalities

Teams are not homogenous. They invariably have introverts, extroverts, huge egos, those lacking in confidence, etc. All these personality types collaborate differently and the truth is that many don’t collaborate well in a face-to-face meeting, but may make great online contributions.

3.     A focus on process

Well-designed digital collaborative tools have the ability to capture comments, changes, versions and ideas. If this is all happening digitally, it alleviates the requirement for meeting notes, actions, reporting back to those who weren’t present, etc.

Of course there are some collaborations that are fired up by people in a room and one type should never, in its absoluteness replace the other. But digital collaboration remains constructive, efficient and more comfortable for many.

Janice Scheckter, co-founder of Indigo New Media, champions collaboration.


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