Nearly 80% of workers are using collaboration tools for work in 2021, up from just over half of workers in 2019, according to the Gartner, Inc. Digital Worker Experience Survey*. This is an increase of 44% since the pandemic began.
“Collaboration tools found renewed importance during COVID-19 for their role in ensuring the productivity of suddenly remote teams,” said Christopher Trueman, principal research analyst at Gartner. “As many organizations shift to a long-term hybrid workforce model, cloud-based, personal and team productivity technologies, along with collaboration tools, will form the core of a series of new work hubs that meet the requirements of various remote and hybrid workers.”
Storage/sharing and real-time mobile messaging tools also saw increased use during the pandemic, used by 74% and 80% of 2021 respondents, respectively.
Specifically, the use of meeting solutions surged during the pandemic. While workers globally reported that they spent, on average, 63% of their meeting time in-person in 2019, that number dropped to 33% by 2021 as more meetings took place over audio and video-enabled meeting solutions. The shift away from in-person meetings is expected to continue. Gartner predicts that by 2024, in-person meetings will drop from 60% of enterprise meetings to 25%, driven by remote work and changing workforce demographics.
“As IT leaders prepare for a mix of meeting modalities, it will be critical that they ensure equitable collaboration, tool and resource access for all meeting participants, regardless of location,” said Trueman. “Cloud-based meeting solutions and content service platforms can support this through offerings or integrations with technologies including virtual whiteboards, rich chat features, and recording and transcription capabilities.”
*For editors: The Gartner 2021 Digital Worker Experience Survey was conducted from November through December 2020 among 10,080 full-time employees at organizations with 100 or more employees in the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific. The Gartner 2019 Digital Workplace Survey was conducted online from March through April 2019, among 7,261 respondents in the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific.
Gartner clients can read more in the report “Technology to Support Collaboration for a Hybrid Workforce.” Learn more in the complimentary Gartner webinar “Gartner 2021 Digital Worker Experience Survey Results: The Real Future of Work.”