Workplace Transparency: The Future of Teamwork

The future of teamwork is all about workplace transparency. Teamwork is no longer hidden behind vertical blinds or within conference room B; today’s teamwork is out in the open, at least in theory. Many new software platforms include features that put goals, accountability and even salaries out in the open. And just in time too! A full three-quarters of workers would rather be on their own. Why? Because 70% of respondents in a study by the University of Phoenix cite being part of a dysfunctional team. In order for teamwork to continue being the bedrock of productivity, transparency is key.

The future of teamwork is also technology enabled. Technologies like Skype, Yammer, Dropbox and Remote Check in apps are making remote teamwork more possible than many of us believed. Global Workplace Analytics reports an 80% increase in the number of remote workers since 2005, meaning this couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. Analysts have no reason to believe the numbers will not continue to grow. Finding tools that support this growth (and training users on the platforms) is in part, fueling the growth of consumer based apps.

The future of teamwork is ROWE. Can you believe I am dragging ROWE right back out of the trash? I am. Results-based work, while not the productivity panacea we thought it would be, is proving to be the work-type of future collaboration. Why? Because accountability is tied into both the aforementioned qualities. It is nearly impossible to have a fully functional and productive team without comprehensive (but brief) check-ins based on goals, and many of the tools that support these progressive results based teams were created to support the remote (and in-office) teams.

The future of teamwork is engaged. With talent management pros across the globe trying to “solve” the issue of employee engagement, more attention will (and should!) be paid to the correlation between strong, functional teams and the profile of the engaged worker. The engaged among us (13%) are “aligned with company values” and “have a friend or best friend at work” and lest you think this only holds true for cubicle dwellers, in fact, multiple studies have shown the opposite.

According to a Gallup poll on the engagement of remote workers, working remotely less than 20% of the time is very good for engagement. We also know that working remotely frees up time for the worker and saves the company resources.

The future of teamwork is less about open office plans and more about the characteristics that will make workers more engaged, less frustrated and free to continue to innovate within the enterprise. What does your future team look like?

Bio: Maren Hogan

Maren Hogan is a community builder and seasoned marketer in the HR and Recruiting industry. She leads Red Branch Media, a full-service marketing and advertising agency serving the HR and Recruiting sectors. A consistent advocate of next generation marketing techniques, Hogan has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies in both the B2B and B2C sectors, and been a prolific contributor of thought leadership in the recruitment and talent space.

You can read more of her work on,,,, Forbes, Entrepreneur and the Glassdoor and Peoplefluent blogs. Follow her on twitter @marenhogan — she’s funnier there.

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Comment by Katrina Kibben on November 2, 2015 at 10:59am

Do you think the characteristics that will make workers more engaged are something we should look for upfront in the interview? I ask because I think engagement is 1 part company 1 part employee - we can't put *all* the responsibility on the "fun force" or whatever HR team is in charge of engagement. 


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