Collaboration: The Key to Greater Efficiencies & Productivity in the Workplace

Simon Haighton-Williams, CEO of Adaptavist, shares his insights on what the last 18 months have taught us about how we work and what collaboration tools will mean for us in the future.

As a CEO, I’ve seen first-hand how COVID-19 completely transformed many companies overnight. Offices had to close, and employees had to get used to new working environments and challenges without letting productivity slip. March last year brought uncertainty to both the workforce and its leadership, with none of us knowing what the future would hold.

For Adaptavist hybrid working is nothing new, however, as many companies start heading back after over a year of remote working, leaders are facing new challenges as a result of hybrid working. Of course, there is still uncertainty, but what we do know is that a distributed working model is going to be part of the mainstream for the foreseeable future. One of the key learnings from the pandemic has been that with the right tools, we can continue to collaborate effectively and get the job done successfully.

A Changing Landscape

In this year’s 2021: State of the Atlassian Ecosystem report, there was a significant uptick in the adoption of third-party tools and not just within technical teams. Uptake from departments such as customer support, for example, rose from 57% in 2020 to 62%. As a result of many teams having to adapt how they work because of COVID-19, these tools have become more commonplace across departments.

Collaboration tools such as Zoom, Google Docs and Slack all existed prior to the pandemic, but now the question is, ‘what platform do you use to collaborate?’ as opposed to, ‘do you use a platform to collaborate?’. People want more capabilities and are demanding, for example, greater visual collaboration tools to further improve efficiency and productivity. As a result, leaders are faced with another problem – integrating a larger number of tools with existing on-premise software as well as across a broader number of teams. The IT environment has become increasingly complex.

Added to this, COVID-19 created a need for companies to automate workflows for greater efficiency. Traditional practices in software development of deploying upgrades, fixing bugs and responding to problems after they arise is seriously problematic without COVID-19 in the mix. Tie this in with a remote workforce and it becomes critical. Leaders need to adopt more automated workflows to ensure employees are able to put more focus on adding value. Our research found that increased workflow automation was a top driver for organisations wanting to implement a DevOps strategy – essential to achieve a consistent quality of products and maintain efficient delivery throughout the software development workflow.

Responding to Challenges

The only way to truly address these challenges and drive digital transformation is with planned integration, increased workflow automation and an enhanced DevOps strategy.

Implementing an integration strategy has never been so important. Connecting the various systems and tools within an organisation ensures that business-critical information is available to those that need it in real-time, and it helps streamline operations.

Companies have a real opportunity to unite their carefully configured platforms with unique business solutions that existed pre-COVID-19. The goal is to create a more seamless working environment, with employees able to use their favourite collaboration tools more easily.

Developing agile ways of working is also high on the list for companies looking to drive efficiency and productivity, promoting a shift in attitude within companies and teams. It’s no surprise that agile take-up, already high in 2020, has increased considerably in 2021. The State of the Atlassian Ecosystem research found that adoption in 2021 reached 82% in 2021 compared to 77% in 2020. Agile at scale adoption has risen considerably from 10% in 2020 to 49% this year, showing the wider enterprise engaging with the approach. Uptake is expected to accelerate further in the next two years, empowering teams to shift attitudes and collaborate more creatively and effectively.

The only way to truly address these challenges and drive digital transformation is with planned integration, increased workflow automation and an enhanced DevOps strategy.

Simon Haighton-Williams,
CEO, Adaptavist

Headshot Simon Haighton-Williams, CEO, Adaptavist

A More Flexible Working Environment

In summary, the distributed working landscape is not something to drop once the crisis has passed. Instead, leaders should continue to revolutionise tired processes, streamline disjointed tools and excite the workforce by creating a more flexible working environment. Indeed, it’s likely that employees will vote with their feet, meaning leaders have a duty to not only ensure successful operation within their companies, but to give their employees the support they need to be successful. By continuing to provide and improve the right tools to communicate and collaborate with, efficiency and productivity gains can be here to stay.


Simon Haighton-Williams
CEO, Adaptavist

A technology leader with senior technical manager experience at board and CxO level with broad experience of design/new build/project/integration and operational management – which has seen him more recently working with senior management teams to drive improvements in their business beyond the purely technical.