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Gartner: Use of collaboration tools up 44% since 2019

Research firm also finds just 33% of company meetings happened in person in 2021

The number of workers using collaboration tools has risen by 44% since 2019, the latest research from Gartner has found.

Conducted between November and December last year, the research firm’s Digital Worker Experience Survey questioned 10,080 employees at organisations with 100+ employees in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

It found that a whopping 80% of workers are now using collaboration tools in 2021.

“Collaboration tools found renewed importance during COVID-19 for their role in ensuring the productivity of suddenly remote teams,” explained Christopher Trueman, principal research analyst at Gartner.

“As many organisations 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 and sharing, as well as real-time mobile messaging tools also saw increased use during the pandemic, with 74% and 80% of respondents, respectively.

In fact, the use of meeting solutions surged during the pandemic. Back in 2019, global workers said that they spent, on average, 63% of their meeting time in-person. Now, that figure has dropped to 33% as more meetings have taken place over audio and video-enabled solutions.

This shift away from face-to-face meetings is expected to continue too. Gartner predicts that, by 2024, in-person meetings will fall from 60% of enterprise meetings to just 25%. Remote work and evolving workforce demographics will drive this change.

“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,” Trueman continued.

“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."

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