The COVID-19 pandemic reshaped the way we work, leading to expanded talent pools, increased workplace flexibility, and a greater emphasis on family time. However, despite these changes, employees still struggled to connect. Companies implemented in-office days and new software to knit teams back together, but the collaboration challenges remained.
In this article, we’ll explore the findings of the 2023 Collaboration Trends Report, a study conducted in partnership with Microsoft, which surveyed 4,000 people across remote, hybrid, and office environments. The results underscore the importance of empowering teams to achieve extraordinary business outcomes through effective collaboration.
The Collaboration Conundrum
- Key Statistic: 51% of people believe they aren’t collaborating well, despite spending 9+ hours a week on collaboration.
- Highlight: 81% of respondents consider collaboration very or extremely important to their role’s success.
Despite recognizing the significance of collaboration, many employees feel overloaded by constant communication. Microsoft Teams users, for example, sent 45% more chats per week and 42% more chats per person after hours in February 2021 compared to February 2020. This collaboration overload remains a prevalent issue, leaving employees dissatisfied with their collaboration experiences.
Tools and In-Office Days Aren’t Enough
- Key Insight: Collaboration tools and mandatory in-office days won’t solve the collaboration problem on their own.
Investment in collaboration tools has skyrocketed, but employees still encounter obstacles to effective collaboration. Returning to the office may address some social needs, but it isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. In fact, nearly half of employees leave their jobs due to poor collaboration.
The Cost of Collaboration Overload
- Key Statistic: Overindulgent meeting culture is the number one reason why teams struggle with collaboration.
- Highlight: Strong collaboration skills are more valuable than having numerous collaboration tools.
To truly enhance collaboration, employees need to learn how to collaborate effectively by bringing intention and purpose to teamwork, meetings, and all collaborative experiences. According to Microsoft’s 2022 WTI Pulse Report, employees who design intentional collaboration at work are more engaged and happier.
Breaking Down Silos
- Key Insight: Mural’s cross-team collaboration index reveals which teams are the most siloed.
Understanding how teams collaborate across departments can help organizations identify opportunities for improvement and foster stronger connections. It can reveal which teams are the most siloed, so organizations can better understand their strengths and weaknesses in this area.
Empowering Teams for Extraordinary Teamwork
- Key Takeaway: Extraordinary teamwork won’t come from the latest collaboration tool or office attendance.
Leaders must empower their teams by helping them learn how to collaborate effectively. This can be achieved through investing in training, learning, and developing collaboration skills across the organization.
When teams understand how to work together, they become more productive and efficient. This improved effectiveness translates into tangible business results such as higher customer satisfaction and better problem-solving capabilities.
The 2023 Collaboration Trends Report highlights the importance of fostering effective collaboration in the ever-evolving work landscape. By prioritizing skill development, breaking down silos, and promoting intentional collaboration, organizations can empower their teams to achieve extraordinary business outcomes, leading to a more engaged and satisfied workforce.