Some people prefer to work alone. Some people are more productive in a team. Some people actually need a perfect balance of both.

What category do you fall into? In today’s in-depth article, we analyse the pros and cons of the two extremes mentioned above.

Group work: pros and cons

Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.

Michael Jordan

Group work and, in general, adopting a company policy that encourages socialisation and exchange between staff has been a growing trend, with results that are sometimes surprising. Spending the best part of the day in an office with a calm and friendly atmosphere and where swapping ideas with others allows you to improve your work performance can make the difference. Many companies have focused with increasing intensity on building a collaborative, cohesive team that can achieve goals together.

Sharing has a pivotal role in group work because it includes workload and responsibility, but also successes and failures.

When a team functions well and there is trust between its members, the positive results, in terms of individual efficiency and project productivity, and also creativity, are immediately visible.

Sometimes, comparing ideas with other people also entails risking confrontation with colleagues resulting in bad feeling, especially when there is inefficient organisation or differences emerge in commitment or responsibility among the various members of the group.

Here is a summary of the pros and cons of teamwork.

PROS

  • Shared workload
  • Increased productivity
  • Opportunity for comparison and growth
  • Support in difficult times
  • Increased creative flow through sharing ideas

CONS

  • Different skill levels
  • Possible clashes
  • Increased risk of distraction
  • More defined schedules

Individual work: pros and cons

Better to be alone than in bad company.

Working alone is not actually the prerogative of people who have opted to work for themselves. Specific projects and roles in a team may also require one person to manage their activity without the support of others. Examples that come to mind are the work of an analyst or writing a press release but there are plenty of other examples.

The pros and cons in this case are the clear opposites of group work. People who work alone can organise their time as they wish, without external distractions. In terms of cons, lone workers must take on greater responsibility, without being able to brainstorm with colleagues if they have a creative block.

Here’s a summary of the pros and cons of working alone.

PROS

  • Independent organisation of work
  • More immediate possibility of remote working
  • Greater concentration and fewer distractions

CONS

  • Responsibility and workload fall to one person
  • No comparison of ideas
  • Experiences limited

Be positive, always

As is often the case, the truth lies somewhere in-between the two extremes. Neither individual or group work is a better option, there are simply activities and occasions that require either the input of one or many people.

Whatever the role or profession, the important thing is to be positive whether you work in a team or alone, constantly striving to achieve your goals, both work and personal ones. Fights and arguments are common and natural if you work in a group, but it is important to share different ideas because that generates constructive growth. It is always a good idea to respect other people’s ideas, regardless of your respective work roles.

Extroverts tend to prefer to work in a group, while introverts tend to seek out solitary roles. By respecting reciprocal attitudes and tendencies, you can think of allowing the option that best suits someone’s personality, putting people in the circumstances where they perform best.

Alone and in a team: how to design an integrated environment

Smart office design allows purpose-driven functional spaces to be created, based on requirements: individual and group workspaces, open spaces or sectioned off with walls, for when greater privacy is necessary. Integrated and modular furniture collections create a harmonious and pleasant work environment, allowing space for stylish design yet fully meeting the needs of workers.

 

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