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3 Ways You Might Be Over-Collaborating (and How to Fix It)

Published By Team AdaptiveWork

At the core of any successful business is collaboration. Brainstorming sessions, working together towards a common goal, weekly happy hours… They all play an important role in innovating new ideas and then carrying them out effectively. In fact, Steve Jobs famously said, “Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions. You run into someone, you ask what they’re doing, you say ‘Wow,’ and soon you’re cooking up all sorts of ideas.”

For these reasons, many companies prioritize collaboration. But as with all good things, it’s easy to take it too far. To maximize teamwork and productivity in the workplace, you need to strike the perfect balance of collaborating consistently, but not collaborating too much.

Check out the most common ways businesses are over-collaborating, so you can avoid them and boost teamwork and productivity in the workplace.

CC’ing to the extreme

This is a very subtle form of modern workplace collaboration, but it can be a big detriment to teamwork and productivity in the workplace. There’s no need to CC every single person in the workplace on every single email. In fact, there’s no reason to CC about a third of the people you are regularly CCing.

According to a McKinsey report, the average professional loses 28% of their day to email activity. That’s time that could be spent tweaking your marketing strategy, completing client projects, or making sales––functions that could be increasing revenue for your business. On the management side of things, it’s a waste of your own time to require your subordinates to CC you on all emails. At worst, it can even create a culture of distrust, which can be very demotivating to employees.


Meetings have a lot of benefits for companies, including spurring innovation and aligning team members. Unfortunately, many meetings are conducted so inefficiently that they end up being more of a company demotivator than a productive brainstorming session. Professionals report losing 15-50% of their working time to meetings, many of which are not propelling the business forward. In fact, approximately two-thirds of meetings are considered to be “unproductive” due to multitasking during sessions, late/absent attendees, and a general lack of engagement.

If your company has fallen prey to the “meeting just to meet” model, you may want to implement the following tactics to avoid over-collaboration and boost teamwork and productivity in the workplace.

  • Make sure every person invited to the meeting is immediately relevant. Smaller groups ensure greater focus and waste less of people’s precious working hours.
  • Every meeting should have an agenda. This ensures you stay on course.
  • Host shorter meetings. If a topic can’t be discussed in 15 minutes, then it may require a separate meeting, a separate agenda, and a separate group of attendees. Keeping meetings to 15 minutes keeps attendees focused and ensures nothing irrelevant is being brought to the table.

These tips apply for phone calls, virtual video meetings or the soon-to-be-reinstated in-person meetings.

Relying on too many tools

Apps and cloud-based programs have revolutionized modern workplace collaboration, but it is possible to have too much of a good thing. If your company is using too many tools, you could be spreading your team’s focus too thin. The key to success with collaborative tools is finding the most robust solutions that cover the most functions, so you can stick with fewer options.

Increase your business agility with Planview AdaptiveWork’s project management software

If you’re looking for a multifaceted collaborative tool that can boost teamwork and productivity in the workplace, Planview AdaptiveWork can help you replace all the extraneous tools that are weighing your team down with one robust system. Planview AdaptiveWork’s project management system allows your team to automate processes, manage workflow, and collaborate across the entire enterprise from one easy-to-use platform. If you’d like to avoid over-collaboration with a streamlined tool like Planview AdaptiveWork, get in touch for a live demo.

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Written by Team AdaptiveWork