Even though we’ve only had a collaboration platform for for 18 months ago, I do find it difficult to remember what life was like before it. Did I really send emails for every comment I had? Were the only connections I made distant voices on phone calls? And why did I hold onto work so closely before ever letting anyone see it?

For me, seeing the change in the way people work and the connections our business is making is just incredible, and that we can do it in an open way, connecting not just on work but on social too, is so valuable. So it made me think – how does collaboration make my life and work better?

The secret to a fulfilled life

For over 75 years Harvard’s Grant and Glueck study tracked the physical and emotional well-being of two populations: 456 poor men growing up in Boston from 1939 to 2014 (the Grant Study), and 268 male graduates from Harvard’s classes of 1939-1944 (the Glueck study).

Being such a long study it required multiple generations of researchers, analyzing blood samples, conducting brain scans and pored over self-reported surveys, and actual interactions to compile the findings. The conclusion according to Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development was:

“Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.”

The study demonstrates that having someone to rely on helps your nervous system relax, helps your brain stay healthier for longer, and reduces both emotional as well as physical pain. He goes on to add:

“It’s not just the number of friends you have, and it’s not whether or not you’re in a committed relationship,” says Waldinger. “It’s the quality of your close relationships that matters.”

How does collaboration come in?

So can collaboration help you have a more fulfilled life? If I think back to before we had a collaboration platform, my working relationships were based around who I spoke to, worked with and who I met in person, most of which were through existing connections. If I was lucky enough to catch up with them outside of meetings I could get to know them even better, but there was always a limit to how involved I could be with them in a work environment outside of where our work crossed over.

Nowadays I have the opportunity to reach those people in a completely different way, learn about them, understand them better and create better working relationships. I’ve also had the opportunity to meet new people I never would have met otherwise through shared interests, collaborations and an overwhelming sense of goodwill from a community that really gives back to itself.

A better working life

Being part of a collaborative movement has really been a high point in my career and made me feel happier and healthier at work. I look forward to seeing what’s going on in the community and the value I can add and even find myself checking my inbox via the app in the evenings, not through a sense of work, but through wanting to be connected to the community. It allows me to be myself more and that ultimately makes work more fulfilling for me!

Who’s made your work life better?

@ mention someone who’s made your working life better in the comments!