This article is part of a larger series on Unified Communications.
The team collaboration market was valued at almost $22 billion last year—which is expected to grow even more. The pandemic has permanently affected how we communicate, and as a result, new business communication solutions have emerged, facilitating new collaboration methods. In addition to powering remote work, team collaboration apps like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom have increased productivity in worldwide industries.
In this article, we’ve compiled some of the most relevant team collaboration trends to help you understand how businesses have been affected by this shift:
1. In the Team Collaboration Realm, Zoom, Microsoft Teams & Slack Are Clear Leaders
Despite the industry being filled with competitors, these providers are clear leaders. To put it into perspective, Microsoft Teams has more than 270 million monthly active users, Slack has 18 million daily active users, and Zoom hit 33 trillion annual meeting minutes in 2021. These numbers illustrate how integral these unified communications apps have become, with multiple businesses using two platforms simultaneously.
These numbers are only growing, but new providers can easily come onto the scene and shake up the leaderboard. For example, Teams only began to see its monumental success starting in 2020. In fact, based on research from GeekWire, in that calendar year, the platform gained several million active users between April and October.
2. Team Collaboration Is Changing the Way Companies Do Business
In the past, email was the dominant means of communication between colleagues. While it took years for the platform to reach its current level of success (Slack was formed in 2009), companies using Slack for communication reported a 48% drop in email use since adopting this team collaboration solution. Slack isn’t the only solution causing this paradigm shift in communications.
Methods of team collaboration, such as chat and video conferencing, are also deemed more effective for relaying the meaning of information than traditional communication channels such as email. Effectively, no matter the platform, team collaboration increases opportunities for teaching and learning, an aspect where simple email-based communication falters.
These changes aren’t only affecting email communication. In-person meetings have been waning as well. The same research by HostStorter also established that in-person meetings have decreased by more than 25% as a result of team collaboration.
3. 71% of HR Leaders Have Become More Dialed-in to Team Collaboration
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, business leaders have started to hone in on the value of collaboration. This is due to the rising need for hybrid work environments, which have a distinctly different experience than traditional on-premise employment models.
Team collaboration, even though it’s often done behind screens, is a critical way for employees to feel connected to their co-workers, despite the fact that employee interactions are often more scheduled using this method of collaboration. Fortunately, human resource (HR) leaders are delivering more spontaneous experiences by creating social channels and employee meetups via team collaboration.
Based on additional research done by Gartner, hybrid teams are starting to show greater agility, equity, and psychological safety as a result of team collaboration. This means that 70% of employees adapt better, 66% feel more comfortable taking risks in their roles, and 69% feel better accommodated with this technology.
4. 75% of Employers Consider Collaboration Integral to Daily Operations
(Source: Queens University of Charlotte)
The best team chat apps and conferencing software enhance communications and collaboration between colleagues. For this reason, about 75% of employers consider it a very important aspect of day-to-day business. Still, amongst these employers, only about 18% actually evaluate their employees’ communications or teamwork skills.
While this might seem to illustrate a disconnect, team members’ communications skills notwithstanding, employers are clearly interested in providing teams with the technology to better facilitate communication. As more providers enter the market, businesses will continue to invest in technologies that enhance the hybrid workforce environment.
5. Almost 80% of Workers Were Using Collaboration Tools Last Year
Nowhere is the growth of the team collaboration industry more apparent than when you look at the rise in adoption rates. Gartner’s research stated that 80% of workers used collaboration tools, a steep rise from the 2019 number. In that year, only about half of the workers were using the technology.
6. Zoom Adoption Went Up by 3,300% From 2019-2020
Another illustration of how much adoption has risen as a result of the pandemic is Zoom’s meteoric rise to video conferencing primacy. As a result of working from home, the number of Zoom meetings dramatically increased.
Want to know more about this popular video conferencing platform? Visit our Zoom review to get a list of its pricing and features.
7. 95% of Survey Respondents Use a Team Collaboration Tool for Day-to-day Business
(Source: Tech Republic)
Today, modern team collaboration tools are must-haves. Some 95% of respondents stated that they utilize tools like Zoom or Microsoft Teams to manage their employees’ tasks and day-to-day communications. Conversely, only about 2% of respondents stated that they had no intention of adopting team collaboration technology. Modern video conferencing software and chat apps make it possible to maintain remote collaboration, so it’s no surprise that adopting it has ceased being optional.
Read our Microsoft Teams review for more information on how this tool can help improve the way you communicate and work with your team.
8. 38% of Businesses Have Upgraded Their Video Technology to Support Hybrid Work Environments
(Source: Owl Labs)
With a greater reliance on video conferencing, it should be no surprise that businesses are investing in this technology. Upgrades are becoming increasingly consistent. This is backed up by the huge increase in webcam sales, which increased by 179% in 2020 alone. With more remote communication becoming the norm, businesses want to use technology to emulate the face-to-face business interactions of days gone by.
Looking to enhance employee interactions by using team collaboration? Take a look at our tips for using UC and collaboration tools. The guide has several methods you can use to make remote teams feel more integrated, and there’s a video walkthrough to help illustrate each.
9. Despite the Reduction in the Pandemic’s Impact, Team Collaboration Isn’t Going Anywhere
Modern employees are expecting more remote work opportunities. While it can easily be argued that the work culture was always heading toward this, clearly, the pandemic has pushed up the timetable significantly. Companies are also seeing the value as business processes have improved, thanks to the implementation of collaboration technologies that lead to more flexible working hours, more streamlined decision-making, and enhanced human interactions.
Today, a major selling point for employment is work-from-home hours. In fact, based on research by Verizon, 80% of companies say that working environments that incorporate team collaboration tools are essential to further business success.
Further confirming this, according to Microsoft Work Trend, around 70% of modern workers are looking for this type of employment. As a result, 66% of companies are fully embracing hybrid work by incorporating more team collaboration technologies.
10. Studies Show That Collaborative Teams Are 5X Higher Performing
Our final statistic/trend to consider is the fact that when employees feel included, projects tend to be more successful. This is due to the fact that people feel more invested and motivated when working toward a commonly-held goal. Conversely, when employees don’t feel invested, this can easily be a recipe for failure. Team collaboration tools ensure that the process of communication flows freely so that everyone feels involved and wants the project to succeed.
The team collaboration market is filled with options to help your employees feel connected. The providers we mentioned aren’t the only options. A dedicated unified communications as a service (UCaaS) platform, like the Google Workspace suite of solutions, delivers a relatively low-cost means to stay connected within a team. There’s chat, video conferencing, and task management integration.
Not sure which chat app to pick? Take a look at our Microsoft Teams vs Slack piece to make a more informed decision.