Some take to teamwork like fish to water. Others feel drained by being in the company of other people. Successful managers leverage this fact.

By now, we all know that some people prefer to work individually and others in teams. Both teamwork and solo efforts have advantages and disadvantages. The key is finding the rights tasks for each one.

Let’s take a quick look below for the pros and cons of these different personality types and work styles.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Teamwork

  • Working in teams increases collaboration and allows for brainstorming. As a result, more ideas are developed and productivity improves.
  • Two or more people are always better than one for solving problems, finishing off difficult tasks, and increasing creativity.
  • Everyone is unique and has different skills, backgrounds, and experiences. Therefore, others in a team can help you see things from a different angle.
  • Teamwork encourages communication between team members. For this reason, relations between employees tend to be better and, with time, employees learn to communicate better.
  • In some teams, there may be members who sit back and let others do all the work. In these types of teams, conflicts may occur and this can affect the mood of others in the team.
  • Working in a team requires many meetings and these meetings, if not managed well, can go off topic and decrease the efficiency of the team.
  • Making decisions can take longer for the sake of finding a consensus. Hence, delays occur.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Individual Work

  • You can work at your own pace, not depending on someone else. Or you can decide what to do when.
  • You can concentrate easier and work faster. If you are working on a familiar task, you can get it done quickly since there are no outside interactions and extra meetings.
  • You get the whole credit for the work you do since you are working alone! There won’t be many situations where one does less but gets the same credit as others.
  • You get to make your own decisions.
  • You are the sole responsible for the job. If you fail, it is your fault. There aren’t any others to blame it for.
  • You have to motivate yourself. There are no others to motivate you for getting things done.
  • You can get bored working all by yourself. There isn’t anyone to talk to, share ideas with or get help from.
  • When you are working alone, if you get sick or need to take days off, the work will be delayed because there won’t be anyone to continue it for you.

People, Skills, and Managing the “Right Fit” Dynamic

Any seasoned manager will tell you that it’s just no use trying to turn an introvert into an extrovert or vice versa. People just don’t work that way. Instead, the trick is to manage workloads around the varying strengths and weaknesses of your employees.

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The trend today is not to fruitlessly keep trying to pound a square block into a round hole. Savvy entrepreneurs realize that the key to their success is to focus on hiring good people…and keeping them around. Take some time to look closer at any “bad fits” that seem to cross your desk. Is there perhaps another job within your organization at which this otherwise-solid employee would thrive? If so, they’ll help bring your bottom line along for the ride.