Survey Reveals 44% Rise in Workers’ Use of Collaboration Tools

Digital Workplace Technologies Will Be Essential for Enabling Innovation in a Hybrid Workforce

Remote work has forced significant changes to how workers communicate and collaborate.

Nearly 80% of workers are using collaboration tools such as Zoom and Slack 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.

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.

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.

  • Storage/sharing and real-time mobile messaging tools also saw increased use during the pandemic, used by 74% and 80% of 2021 respondents,

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.

Worldwide collaboration applications revenues grew to $22.6 billion in 2020, an increase of 32.9% over 2019. According to a new forecast from International Data Corporation (IDC), this was the fourth consecutive and most significant year of double-digit, year-over-year growth for the market.

The top five collaboration application vendors in 2020 based on worldwide revenue were Microsoft, Google, Zoom, Cisco, and Slack.

“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.”

Source: Gartner