Remote work is going nowhere. Hybrid working is set to the be the future – where employees split their time between the office and remote locations.
But what impact is this having on productivity and collaboration?
Research by productivity startup Corel found that there are mixed views about where remote collaboration is worse than in-person – a survey of 2,000 workers in the UK, the US, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Australia found that 20% thought remote was worse, 30% said remote was better and 50% said they were about the same.
There was particular positivity about the efficiency of virtual meetings (44%) and being able to follow up on actions virtually (36%).
However, it is clear that remote collaboration could be improved. Corel’s research found that companies are not meeting employees’ expectations around collaboration in this new hybrid working world.
70% say that poor collaboration is wasting their time – 64% said they wasted up to three hours in productivity a week, while 20% say they lost six hours.
As a result, 41% say they have left or would leave their job – this rises to 55% for Gen Z and 45% for millennials. It is clear that a collaboration crisis is causing a retention crisis.
Employees need better collaboration tech
Corel’s study suggests that employees place the blame squarely at leadership’s door. 78% think leadership could do more to promote collaboration within the organization – and 27% say leadership has failed to invest in the right tools.
25% added that the tools they have lack the necessary functionality and 21% said they’ve not been trained how to use the tools.
Worryingly, more than one in five said they had no access to any collaboration tools at work.
Not having the right tools is not only wasting employees’ time, but it is costing organizations money and stunting business growth, according to Corel’s research.
Talking about the research, Corel’s chief people officer Scott Day tells UNLEASH: “The data…shows a strong correlation between employee collaboration and overall business success.
“Not only do we know that effective collaboration leads to innovation and increased productivity, but it also fuels engagement and helps create direct and open communication between employees.
“If business leaders don’t act now, they put employee productivity and business success at risk.”
While it is clear that organizations are not investing in the right tools, what exactly do employees want out of collaboration tech?
74% told Corel they wanted cross-platform capabilities, and the ability to use the technology on different devices, while 39% wanted to be able to work on multiple products at the same time as their colleagues. 18% also wanted streamlined and simplified communication tools.
Day concludes: “Attracting, retaining, and engaging employees in this new remote and hybrid work landscape hinges on effective collaboration.
“It’s critical that business leaders listen to what their employees want and invest in tools that make it easier for people to do their jobs well.
“The data is clear. Collaboration is critical, whether your people are working in an office, with clients across town, or with teams around the world. “
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