2022 presented plenty of opportunities for vendors in the world of team collaboration. Cisco’s Webex offering, Slack, Asana, Workplace from Meta, Trello, and Microsoft Teams all witnessed seismic shifts in how employees leveraged said technologies.
And the way these technologies continue to evolve – including the features they gain – has a lot to do with usage trends. For example, last year was the year of the great resignation – when employees in the U.S. decided – enough was enough.
The simplest way to put things – is that employee priorities have shifted – due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Data from workplace insights firm Gartner forecasts that in 2023: “The annual U.S. employee turnover rate will be 20% higher when compared to pre-pandemic averages.” And data from workplace collaboration tool developer Asana appear to back up this notion.
Great Resignation Presented Greater Case for Robust Collaboration
In a late 2022 report looking ahead to 2023 – Asana noted that employees continue to adjust to office returns and new work arrangements. According to Asana: most (or 52%) of employees; decide if they will stay at their job depending on how much flexibility it offers.
Of course, there are various other underlying factors – including the 40% of workers who said they consider leaving their job within three to six months. These folks – cite an overall lack of social support as one reason – according to the aforementioned Asana report.
“Not only that but quitting seems contagious,” it wrote, as a recent study found that resignations are not something that occurs “in isolation.”
But rather, they occur as team events – typically within teams of six to ten members. And a Visier report found that workers are 15% more likely to leave after a colleague resigns. One very plausible solution – ensuring these folks have the tools they need to perform their job with little to no hiccups.
Of course, workplace happiness and other factors play a role: but some UCC tools can track all of that, including employee productivity and well-being – in real-time and can extend insights to that management so they can take the appropriate action for corrective purposes.
Enter collaboration tools – which extend many of these advanced functionalities.
Collaboration Platform; Total Overhaul
As such – many collaboration tool vendors overhauled their platforms in 2023 and will continue to do so in 2023 – looking to re-captivate folks who reside in that quitter’s market. Vendors like RingCentral introduced end-to-end encryption, while others completely overhauled their platforms to meet the needs of customers along with users, otherwise known as employees.
At Zoomtopia 2022, Zoom introduced a newly rebranded platform – now known as Zoom One. It hopes folks will consider the totality of the platform. It brings together team chat, phone, whiteboard, meetings, etc. Last year the firm it will take on a new set of capabilities, integrating with team chat and in-meeting chat – looking to eliminate silos.
So did Twilio, launching a feature that will eliminate passwords across the board while not sacrificing the integrity of user/organizational security. Asana too, “beefed up” its security efforts and introduced more ways to gain insight via workplace reports and goal tracking.
And Cisco brought to market – a myriad of features aimed at changing the way folks collaborate – to create (various) realistic experiences via holographic collaboration. It also announced a partnership with Microsoft Teams – which now offers up; a full-fledged Teams collaboration experience via Cisco collaboration devices.
Cisco secured a similar deal with Apple – giving iPhone and iPad users the capability of sharing content from rear and front-facing cameras via the Webex meeting app – while annotating what they see. It further introduced an audio watermark feature – one that could prove to be a deal breaker for organizations with leaks.
Moving Away from Siloed Messaging in 2023
According to research; conducted by Liz Gerber, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University, managers use several tools to communicate with employees. And those managers who leverage these platforms “tend to lead quicker, smoother projects.”
There is a downside, though. While Geber’s research indicates that there are clear and present benefits to what’s known as “redundant communication,” they can get negated quite quickly, thanks to those same silos.
Harvard Business Review researchers found that toggling between email, messaging platforms, various workspaces, etc., tends to show work down by as much as two seconds each time – leading to employees who toggle more than 1,200 times daily.
Another perspective – that’s four hours weekly.
Leveraging AI More and More
Of course, no outlook would be complete without considering the impacts of artificial intelligence on technology. In this instance, we’re looking at AI – which will continue to shape how folks collaborate in 2023.
It already helps in finding the most optimal time for meetings, eliminating the annoying “send me a few available times” email that gets sent out to dozens in some cases- leading to endless back-and-forths. AI can even send post-meeting follow-ups and work to ensure action items are delivered – not merely forgotten.
2023 could very well be the year vendors understand that they don’t need bells and whistles, but rather; the tools needed to make work less annoying. Convenience is and has always been the name of the game in collaboration. Reducing turnover and burnout could lie in; ensuring tools are robust enough to foster only the best experiences.
Of course, it will also take the work of willing HR and management, along with others, to hire the right tech-savvy talent – or at least those willing to conquer bleeding-edge technologies. And that is what these tools are, after all – as their development continues to unfold before our eyes, sometimes with features that make you go “wow” while others are questionable at best.
In 2023, there’s no room for (superfluous) collaboration tools – only the ones that help employees pull off feats previously unimaginable – at least before the pandemic.
With the consideration of working from anywhere – this task seems increasingly difficult, but the collaboration superstars will manage with grace – and little-to-no friction as they have the right teams in place and are listening to what customers/users demand.