4 min read

Lack of Collaboration Among Employees? Here’s Why, According to Stats

Lack of Collaboration Among Employees? Here’s Why, According to Stats

Leading a team where there is a lack of collaboration among employees can be a disheartening experience. Particularly if you can clearly see that your team has the potential to do great things together.

In order for things to change, your team is going to need one thing - you.

Teams, specifically dysfunctional teams, need a strong leader who will unite them around a common goal, align their priorities, remove roadblocks to success, encourage perseverance in the face of adversity, and celebrate milestones (even the small ones).

If that’s the type of leader you aspire to be for your team, then the very first thing you should do is make an effort to understand their current reality. In other words, why are they performing and behaving the way that they are? Only by gaining this understanding will you be able to identify the root cause of the lack of collaboration and begin to implement measures that encourage more positive and frequent collaboration among them.

As you do so, consider the following facts, figures, and stats about the current state of collaboration and teamwork in the workplace. These statistics make it clear that many teams around the world are suffering from a lack of collaboration and the corresponding consequences. Not only should this reassure you that you aren’t alone, but it should also give you valuable hints about what things to consider improving regarding your own team.


Facilitate a discussion around team goals, values, and behaviors with this  editable "Team Alignment Worksheet. 


Teamwork and Collaboration Statistics

71% of respondents report that at least 41% of their work time is spent collaborating. This means that someone working the average 40-hour, five-day work week would spend 3.2 hours a day collaborating. - MIT Sloan, 2023

72% of respondents have been involved in at least one situation where collaboration was “absolutely horrendous.” - MIT Sloan, 2023

Organizations that collaborate well are better prepared to adapt to business challenges, meet customer expectations, achieve a competitive advantage, and grow revenue long-term. - Asana, 2023

92% of workers at collaborative organizations say their work has value - versus just 50% of respondents at organizations with weak collaboration. - Asana, 2023

37% of employees say making decisions quickly is one of the top hurdles when it comes to collaborating cross-functionally. - Asana, 2023

37% say quick decision making is one of the top hurdles to cross-functional collaboration

Respondents whose jobs require them to collaborate “all the time” have a mental health index score of 72.9. Meanwhile, employees who said they prefer to work alone “most of the time” had a score of 66.7. The national average was 70.9. - Telus Health, 2023

81% of respondents say collaborating with others is either very or extremely important to the success of their role. - Mural and Microsoft, 2023

43% of respondents say they spend 9+ hours a week collaborating. On a team of five employees with a salary of $100,000 a year who spend nine hours a week collaborating, $117,000 a year would be spent just on that team collaborating. - Mural and Microsoft, 2023

47% of people who have five or more collaboration tools say they still run into obstacles to effective collaboration. - Mural and Microsoft, 2023

51% of respondents say they’re only somewhat happy or not happy with how their team collaborates. - Mural and Microsoft, 2023

43% of people who work in the office full-time say they still face obstacles to effective collaboration at work. - Mural and Microsoft, 2023

The top three obstacles to effective collaboration are too many unproductive meetings, no alignment across teams, and unclear priorities/expectations. - Mural and Microsoft, 2023

62% of individual contributors have not learned any formal collaboration skills, and 63% believe their direct managers should be the ones to help them learn those skills. - Mural and Microsoft, 2023

Only 5% of the teams analyzed have strong and consistent collaboration habits. - Swoop, 2023

A team with a high average collaboration performance score can be negatively impacted by just one or two members who collaborate poorly.  - Swoop, 2023

According to employees, the top five challenges that prevent efficient collaboration in the digital workplace are: - Gmelius, 2022

  1. Fake urgency (45%)
  2. Lack of visibility (42%)
  3. Cross-functional collaboration (39%)
  4. Workload distribution (36%)
  5. Data dispersion (26%)

Top 5 Challenges That Prevent Collaboration Among Employees 2022

Time spent on the collaborative aspects of work (ex., instant messaging, email, and meetings) has exploded by roughly 50% over the past 12 years. - Harvard Business Review, 2022

44% of respondents say that the lack of a clear direction or agenda is a challenge in digital collaboration. - Lucid, 2022

50% of respondents say that they feel virtual meetings aren’t very collaborative. - Lucid, 2022

40% of respondents said real-time collaboration has been replaced with asynchronous or disjointed collaboration tools. - Futurum and Microsoft, 2022

54% of office workers believe poor employee collaboration within hybrid and remote work environments costs organizations revenue. - Corel, 2022

41% of enterprise employees either have left their job or would consider leaving their job due to poor collaboration at work. - Corel, 2022

64% of employees claim that poor collaboration costs them at least three hours per week in productivity, with 20% claiming they are wasting as many as six hours per week. - Corel, 2022

78% of employees say company leadership could be doing more to promote collaboration among employees, while 27% say their organization hasn’t invested in the right collaboration tools. - Corel, 2022

When asked about the benefits of improving collaboration among employees, people said it would improve: - Corel, 2022

  • Employee productivity and time savings (70%)
  • Innovation, creativity, and engagement (64%)
  • Business growth opportunities (61%)
  • Employee morale (60%)

Benefits of Improving Collaboration Among Employees 2022

20.5% of post-pandemic remote workers selected difficulties with collaboration and communication as their biggest struggle, compared to 13% in 2020. - Buffer, 2021

26% of employees say collaboration among employees has become less formal since the pandemic. - Salesforce, 2021

Employees believe that defined expectations for collaboration and clear hours are the best ways to achieve the highest levels of well-being, social cohesion, and productivity in the workplace. - McKinsey, 2021

10% of an employee’s time can be saved through collaboration, equating to 2-4 hours per 40-hour week. For every 100 employees, that is equivalent to an annual benefit of nearly $250K. - Forrester, 2020

89% of respondents say that prioritizing collaboration is increasingly part of their organization’s overall workforce strategy. This is because people believe it will lead to greater employee morale (80%), improved product/service quality (78%), increased innovation (77%), greater agility (60%), and an overall increase in worker efficiency (59%). - Harvard Business Review and SHRM, 2019

Respondents cite a lack of information transparency and knowledge sharing (53%), unclear decision-making (52%), lack of team leadership and management expertise (44%), and trust between team members (44%) as the biggest barriers to collaboration among employees. - Harvard Business Review and SHRM, 2019

The most important collaboration skills, according to respondents, are interpersonal skills (91%), empathy (69%), complex problem-solving (65%), and communication skills (63%). - Harvard Business Review and SHRM, 2019

Editable team alignment worksheet

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