Just like all other aspects of the workplace affected by technology and digital innovations, team collaboration is rapidly changing. Here are some of the most important team collaboration insights to apply to your company:
The Importance of Team Collaboration
No department, company, or industry can deny the importance of team collaboration and the role it plays in the success of organizations. This importance is apparent in a variety of ways – from efficiency and productivity to the social aspect of work.
1. Three out of four employers consider teamwork to be “very important”. (Queens University of Charlotte)
Teamwork and collaboration can also be factors to accept or deny a job offer because it’s among the most important factors employees look for in organizations they’re applying for.
2. Almost 80% of companies use social collaboration tools in one way or another, in an effort to enhance their business processes. (McKinsey)
This number is expected to grow even higher as both supply and demand for collaboration tools continue to rise.
3. Knowledge experts spend 14% of their workweek on average in collaboration with their teams and communication. (McKinsey)
For some people, this might seem like not that much, but it’s actually a lot of time in the context of knowledge workers (programmers, scientists, engineers, data experts, academics, lawyers, etc.)
4. 86% of survey respondents believe that projects generally fail due to an overall “lack of collaboration”. (SalesForce)
Throughout the history of work, some of the biggest flops in project management were caused by a lack of collaboration.
5. A vast majority of employees believe that managers and executives should consult with others before making final decisions. At the same time, 40% of employees consider that decision-makers do not seek another opinion when making decisions. (SalesForce)
This is another aspect of work that’s not directly connected to an employee’s job role but a question they feel affected by. Inclusion and collaboration, in this case, can foster a feeling of appreciation and recognition.
6. When choosing an employer, over two-thirds of millennials (78%) consider workplace quality “important”. (Visix)
It’s no longer only about making money – not even about career progression in general. Millennials want to feel good in the present moment, and not sacrifice satisfaction for future rewards.
The Current State of Collaboration
Given that few companies share their numbers and experiences related to team collaboration, it’s hard to estimate the real state of the field. Still, there’s a lot to be learned from research and studies:
7. In different countries and regions, employees have different views on the important points and challenges of collaboration. For Indian, Brazilian, and Germany, the top challenge with collaboration is that some people work too fast or slow. Other issues include misunderstanding and unclear communication and responsibilities. When it comes to important aspects of communication, clear responsibilities, good relationships with colleagues and trust are important to employees all over the world.
In this article, we haven’t focused too much on cultural differences in team collaboration – because they are not really there. Cultures around the world have slightly different opinions and experiences with team collaboration, but the problems they usually come across are the same.
8. Almost 40% of employees think that people in their own company do not collaborate enough. (Visix)
This is a subjective view, but it’s a valuable piece of information nonetheless. If you think that your employees think they collaborate enough, ask them this same question and you might end up surprised.
Remote Team Collaboration Statistics
Successfully collaborating in a team that has members all over the world is one of the most pressing issues digital companies face. Tackling this can be a hard challenge even for the most experienced managers and human resources experts. To successfully venture through these new, unexplored waters, take a look at some of the facts regarding remote work and the day-to-day functioning of remote teams:
9. 16% of companies hire remote workers only. (Owl Labs)
You’d be surprised how many companies work perfectly well with teams that are remotely exclusive. Of course, collaboration tools and strategies have to be on point for it to work. Also, it’s smarter to do it gradually than to go full-remote from one day to the next; but it’s possible to start a company from scratch with fully remote teams.
10. In 2018, 3.2% of the US workforce (4.3 million employees) worked from home at least half of the time. (Global Workplace Analytics)
This number is from 2018 and the remote workforce is growing in exponential progression. That’s why this number is even higher at the moment of writing this (2020). Also, employees who work from home some of the time show a tendency to increase WFH days over time.
11. By 2028, 73% of companies will have remote workers in all of their departments. (Upwork)
This seems like a natural progression of things, taking into consideration how things appear in today’s workforce. Still, only 8 years to reach these kinds of numbers is a truly disruptive change.
“People often underestimate the speed at which the remote workforce will grow. For many companies, slow adaptation processes and inability to be flexible will result in real business damages”, says Estelle Liotard, a writer at GetGoodGrade writing service.
12. 17% of remote employees believe that remote work hinders their opportunities for normal collaboration with coworkers. (Buffer)
For some, remote work is not all sunshine and rainbows. If your employees feel like working remotely reduces their possibility of working with their team effectively, consider moving them in-house (if possible).
The Connection between Team Collaboration and Employee Satisfaction
Time and time again, researchers have proven that there is a very close link between employee satisfaction and the team culture. This implies a number of things, starting from the atmosphere and relationships with other employees, but collaboration also plays a huge part. It’s a vicious cycle: if employees find it hard to collaborate with their co-workers, they will underperform, be less satisfied with their job and find it even harder to collaborate.
13. Over half of the employees stay at a company longer than they should due to a strong feeling of community.
Probably every one of us can strongly relate to this fact. Did you ever stick around at a lousy job just because you worked with your best friends or you love your team? This is not something rare, and should definitely be taken into consideration by HR and managers when forming teams.
14. Companies that utilize effective communication and collaboration have a 4.5 times greater likelihood of retaining the best employees. (RoomToEscape.com)
This is closely linked to the statistic above. Naturally, if employees value community, team spirit, and collaboration strongly, companies that are focused on these aspects of their daily operations will be able to land and keep the best talent.
15. One-third of employees consider a lack of honest communication as one of the most negative impact factors on employee morale.
Unfortunately, this is another fact that many of us can relate to. Lying and dishonest communication resulting in poor collaboration is one of the biggest work motivation killers.
16. 85% of employees who have access to tools for collaborative management are more likely to consider themselves happy employees. (Wrike)
This can easily be considered the most shocking statistic on this list. Who knew that collaborative management tools were so important for the happiness of employees?
17. A huge majority of employees (99.1%) would prefer an organization where employees discuss issues openly and truthfully. At the same time, a little more than half of the employees say that their current company discusses issues openly and truthfully.
“The world of business is full of paradoxes and discrepancies. Employees who have a tendency to be dishonest expect maximum honesty and truthfulness from their companies”, says Miranda Hale, a writer at IsAccurate.
The Importance of Team-Building Activities
18. Employees attribute half of the positive changes in communication and collaboration to social interactions outside of the workplace. (Keka)
We’ve mentioned this before, but it’s incredibly important to reiterate: work colleagues who are friends will collaborate much better than those who don’t like spending time together outside of work. It’s an obvious fact, but it’s also backed by numbers.
19. 35% of variations in team performance can be connected to the number of face-to-face exchanges among the members of the team. (MIT Human Dynamics Lab)
This one can be considered a worrying statistic for remote teams. Previously, we have seen that there are some benefits to working remotely in terms of collaboration, but some employees see only the downsides. In this case, having a lower number of interactions can directly impact the team’s performance.
20. Team-building can provide a 10x return in terms of employee loyalty, work ethic, and innovation. (Museum Hack)
Just like ice breakers or group activities from school, most employees dislike the concept of team-building, thinking of it as forced socialization with their co-workers, but they usually like it. Ignore the “not another team-building” signs and do it for the good of the company.
Use of Team Collaboration Tools
21. Employees’ support for the use of social collaboration tools differs according to the age of surveyed participants. Millennials lead the numbers with almost half of them (49%) being in favor of social tools for collaboration, followed by Gen X with 40% of supporters and baby boomers with 31% of supporters.
Unsurprisingly, baby boomers have issues with online team collaboration tools. This is nothing to be angry about, actually – because they are used to and have proved in practice, over and over again, that it’s possible to collaborate without digital tools. Millennials, on the other hand, have a different approach. They may theoretically know that collaboration without social collaboration tools is possible, but they are too young to have seen it in practice.
22. Almost 83% of professionals depend on technology to collaborate with their team members. At the same time, less than half of them (49%) use mobile devices for team collaboration. (Alfresco)
Another paradoxical fact – while many employees use mobile devices to access email, messages, and company platforms, the majority don’t use them for team collaboration, even though a vast majority use them and depend on them.
23. Online team collaboration tools can provide an increase in productivity ranging from 20 to 30%. (McKinsey)
Quicker communication leads to quicker problem-solving, which leads to quicker decision-making, which leads to better productivity.
24. 70% of employees think improvements in collaboration are enabled by digital technologies. (Aruba)
It’s important not to mix this one up with the generational stance towards digital collaboration tools – this number stands for the number of respondents who all use digital technologies as a means of collaboration with their teams.
25. Over 80% of respondents feel like their collaboration would feel an impact if their access to collaboration technology was not possible. (Alfresco)
Yet another paradoxical number, disproving some of the figures we have mentioned and talked about above. In this case, the numbers show that for over 80% of respondents, technology has a direct impact on their ability to collaborate with others.
For remote workers and freelancers, it’s crucial that team collaboration apps are in the cloud. Otherwise, employees will have to be on-premise and log into their company accounts on company devices. Using non-cloud software will, therefore, close some doors to the expansion of remote teams and work-from-home employees. Luckily, the numbers show that the majority of companies recognized the importance of moving their team collaboration apps and tools to the cloud.
As you had the chance to see, some of these statistics proved things you have probably expected, some are surprising, and some are downright shocking! Regardless of what your predictions are for the future of team collaboration, one fact is indisputable: it’s changing and it’s getting more important than ever. Make sure your organization stays ahead of the curve by implementing all necessary changes to foster great team collaboration.