Klaxoon’s study reveals insights on the future of teamwork in America
Klaxoon Truck: On the Road
Inspired by Jack Kerouac’s novel “On the Road”, Klaxoon’s Teamwork Tour was much more than your average road trip. With a giant immersive pink Truck and expert team in tow, Klaxoon crisscrossed the major business centers of the USA sharing along with each stop real-world examples, stories, and insights on how teams worldwide can embrace collaboration and tools to achieve amazing teamwork.
The 11 week, 16 city odyssey kicked off in the Mojave Desert at CES 2019, with significant stops in Los Angeles, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, Boston, New York, Washington, Atlanta, New Orleans, Lafayette, Houston and closing out with a bang at SXSW in Austin.
At each stop, thousands discovered a Klaxoon truck transformed into a mobile workspace offering visitors an introduction to a new suite of collaborative tools that enrich productivity, creativity, engagement, and decision making in team settings. Visitors simultaneously took part in demos, workshops, and keynotes to discover how teamwork is being shaped by the future of work.
The cross-country tour also permitted Klaxoon to garner comprehensive data and insights of how teams of all shapes, sizes, and industries work together daily and what upcoming challenges they are facing. The insights collected during our Teamwork Tour coupled with the informative results of our recent study offers a comprehensive snapshot of what awaits the future of teamwork.
We learned a lot, here is some of it
Our study confirms that the future of teamwork will be centered on efficient collaboration driven by an increase of multiple touch points across an organization, from formal meetings to project management via digital tools, between various teams and at distinctive times.
The study also reinforces the fact that meetings remain central to how teams share information, make decisions, generate ideas, plan, give feedback and collaborate. While overall meeting satisfaction is increasing across America, rising meeting frequency and number of participants in attendance have the potential to sidetrack daily efficiency. 41% of workers attended more meetings in the last year while only 14% took part in fewer meetings. More meeting invites but also more people in the room with 63% of employees agreeing that there are more attendees present in meetings. Meeting trends that are more pronounced in certain cities. San Francisco, Washington DC, and NYC lead the way in the US with the greatest increase in meetings attended over the past year, while Austin saw the biggest upswing in meeting participants.
What influences decision-making
89% of meetings in America last less than an hour, at times not leaving teams the possibility to get everything they need to be done in one sitting. Efficient decision making in meetings is a stable of high performing organizations but how and why decisions are taken varies across the US.
The study also looked into factors that influence decision-making the most in meetings across America?
• 38% – Best ideas
• 29% – Group Think
• 25% – Upper Management
• 9% – Team Vote
But differences remain in decision making depending on organizational size with micro-companies (1-9 employees) using best ideas 47% of the time while enterprise (+1000 employees) size firms do so only 33% of the time. Looking to avoid meetings with group think (group members refrain from expressing doubts and judgments or disagreeing with the consensus), then avoid Houston where it influences 36% of decisions. A fan of team votes for making decisions in meetings? Try a meeting in NYC where it is most used.
Remote work on the rise, while collaboration is being led by the few
With all those meetings and teams collaborating our studies still shows getting everyone engaged and involved can be challenging. When asked about team collaboration and if the conversations and most ideas were driven by one or two team members, an overwhelming 79% in America agreed. A pattern of poor collaboration that is most rampant in San Francisco and Seattle, 88% and 85% respectively.
Fortunately, 75% of employees agree that they collaborate better with others on team projects because of collaborative tools. Digital tools that become vital as more and more companies allow remote working and flexible work schedules. Our survey indicated that 21% of workers currently spent over +60% of their time working remotely. And 52% of US workers feel like they’ll work more remotely in the next year. The greatest increase in remote workers may come from Seattle and NYC where respondents stated in highest numbers they’d be “very likely” to work remotely more in the next year. As the number of distributed teams rise the need for new ways of working will need to evolve within organizations to keep pace with change, especially to ensure team alignment, smooth collaboration, and remote worker connectedness. The need to improve is evident, currently when working remotely 63% of employees feel they are less informed than when working from the corporate office.
A detachment that could lead some to forgo collaborative team projects. When asked if they preferred working as a team or working alone, 61% answered working as a team while 39% prefer working alone.
Multi-team projects becoming the norm
The future of work requires workplaces to be more digital and more global, blurring the lines between hierarchies but also when, how and which teams work together. This is most evidenced in the explosion of multi-team projects daily, leading to collaboration with a great diversity of actors across organizations. 46% of those surveyed saw an increase in collaboration on team projects when only 20% indicated a decrease.
When surveyed how many teams, other than their own, do US employees interact within any given week:
• 53% – 1-3 teams per week
• 28% – 3-5 teams per week
• 14% – 5-8 teams per week
• 4% – 8-10 teams per week
• 3% – +10 teams per week
Greater multi-team projects and collaboration helps to break down barriers, increasing the sharing of information while reducing organizations silos. Only 21% of US workers stated their organization had silos, 48% had none, but 38% weren’t sure.
The boosting of teamwork through an increase in sharing of ideas and information is spurning creativity. 82% of US workers agree that working in a team helps to bring out more creative ideas. Adding to 59% of employees say they need help from their colleagues to succeed in their job.
From the use of agile methodologies, increase in distributed teams, to the widespread adoption of collaboration tools, our survey shows that as technology evolves and transforms the way we work, how teams create alignment and synchronize becomes a determining factor in enhancing innovation, creativity, and productivity across a whole organization.