Remote Working

Remote collaboration: does practice make perfect?

Lydia Watson

A problem shared is a problem halved, two heads are better than one… the phrase ‘cliches are cliches for a reason’ is a cliche in itself. But what we’re essentially getting at is this: it’s always better when we work together. 

You get to stack up your skills and specialisms, sound out ideas, and build your relationships at the same time. It’s a win-win. So should we be concerned about it falling by the wayside in a world of remote working?

Remote working and collaboration: the facts


  • Employees and leaders have had serious concerns

Dodgy internet connections make meetings harder, and getting used to brainstorming without a whiteboard is challenging. And for those who aren’t fans of remote working, 75% say it’s because collaboration is harder. 37% of all workers said it was affected too, specifically because idea sessions couldn’t happen in person.

  • Even CEOs broke the rules to collaborate

People wanted to work together in-person so much that 17% were willing to break lockdown rules, and go against organisational policy. And that’s the senior team too, with 43% of those rulebreakers being C-suite. But it’s up for debate whether that demonstrates the need for ‘real life’ brainstorming, or an inability to adapt to change.

  • It’s less of an issue for experienced remote workers

Research found that collaboration was mainly an issue if you’re new to working from home. Experienced remote workers were 5 percentage points more likely to feel they could collaborate and communicate well, suggesting what many have said all along: this lockdown-led experience of remote working is not typical.

How to make remote collaboration less like hard work

If you’re staying remote or going hybrid, it’s time to start working on your remote collaboration. There’s a few areas you can focus on to do that, and if you use our deep dive surveys you can make sure you’re staying on track:

1. Prioritise a sense of ‘purpose’

Of people who understand their organisation’s goals, 31% prefer remote working – compared to 18% of those who don’t feel that sense of purpose. It really matters, and it’s a strength we’ve identified before in companies that have survived crisis situations.

2. Keep ‘role fit’ & ‘empowerment’ ranking high

‘Role fit’ was a strength we identified across industries – with 78% feeling they were suited to their role, and 76% saying they were empowered and trusted to get on with it. Other research supports this: people who like working from home report a good level of autonomy

3. Start providing the right ‘tools’

It goes without saying, but you need to invest in the right digital tools. Online whiteboards, instant messaging, better video conferencing – post-pandemic, just 46% felt they were provided with the right tools so this is an area where we can all improve. 

4. ‘Listen’ to what your employees say

Organisations that listen have 14.4x higher NPS and 4.6x higher growth – and they also have all the answers. Survey your employees, and you’ll find out what’s stopping them from collaborating well. It’s a simple solution that we can help you with.

We’ve got question sets on all of these topics and many, many more. Reach out today, and learn how to get remote collaboration right.

It’s time to start the conversation

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