Over the past year, the world underwent a rapid digital transformation at an unprecedented scale. Not only did the volume of work we do grow exponentially, but so did its complexity. With the introduction of hybrid workplaces, never-ending Zoom meetings, and countless Slack threads, employees have suffered reduced productivity and engagement along with widespread burnout. The problem has been exacerbated by the mass adoption of new work applications, and a growing amount of data, systems, and workflows. 

All of this has led to what we call unstructured collaboration. The ability to identify, address, and harness this unstructured work is what’ll set the most successful organizations apart from the rest in the post-pandemic world.  

What exactly is ‘unstructured’ work? 

Unstructured work represents collaboration with no governance that ends up flying under the radar. Texts, emails, and Slack messages may be convenient, but are often buried and undocumented, shrouding important workflow details. As time goes by, the volume of unstructured work grows, making it increasingly difficult to understand what’s working and what’s not, or what needs attention when iterating on existing processes. 

The problem becomes significantly worse when cross-functional collaboration comes into play. Unstructured work can cause communication breakdowns and workflow confusion that’s difficult to resolve, taking up precious time and reducing productivity. 

An agile solution for any situation

So what’s the best way forward for such a complex and variable situation? Every workspace has their own preferences, workflows, and dynamics. A rigid, one-for-all solution simply won’t be flexible enough to enable each team to properly structure their work in this new environment. 

The answer is a feature-rich but accessible solution that can be customized through “citizen development.” It needs to be easily tailored by technical and non-technical teams alike to meet their unique workflow needs. The ideal solution should be accessible to both large cross-functional teams with complex needs to individual entrepreneurs new to work management who can start small and see results right away. 

Structure your organization for the future

Slack, Zoom, and rigid work management tools incapable of citizen development just aren’t enough to support true collaboration. Oftentimes, overuse of these apps is the root cause of employee burnout and the buildup of unstructured work. A true collaboration tool is essential to effectively harnessing enterprise workflows for a post-pandemic work environment. 

Here at Wrike, we tackle the issue of unstructured work head on by providing our users with a robust platform that’s flexible enough to manage, change, and track unique workflows across multiple projects with full visibility. Illuminate your processes and facilitate work at a companywide level through features like dynamic request forms and approvals, OKR planning and execution, enterprise service management, fully customizable workflows, and much more.

Looking to prepare and restructure your workflow for the better? Start a free Wrike trial today.