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STAMFORD, Conn., August 25, 2021

Gartner Survey Reveals a 44% Rise in Workers’ Use of Collaboration Tools Since 2019

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

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 (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Changes in Digital Workplace Technology Use, 2019-2021 (Percentage of Respondents)

Source: Gartner (August 2021)

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.”

Learn to make faster, smarter decisions -- and generate stronger performance – by reinventing where, when and how work is done in the Gartner Future of Work Resource Center

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