Research Shows Small Businesses Are Shifting Towards Chat-Based Collaboration Tools

July 17, 2018

Collaborative Work Has Increased by About 50%

Lori Wright, Workplace Collaboration Expert and General Manager, Microsoft Teams

(Redmond, WA, Tuesday, July 17, 2018) – There are 29.6 million small businesses in the United States which has accounted for 62% of net new jobs since 2014, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration

Today, work is more collaborative than ever – Microsoft conducted research on the modern workplace and people are on twice as many teams today as they were just five years ago and they are increasingly more mobile and geographically distributed. 

“Collaborative” work –meetings, calls, answering emails – has increased by about 50% and takes up 80% or more of employees’ time—which can make it difficult as a growing small business to keep up in today’s modern workplace.

Industry experts even cite a growing shift towards chat-based collaboration tools, with 42% of companies of all sizes currently taking advantage of these tools and looking to adopt them more in the future.

Over the past 16 months, more than 200,000 organizations all over the world have been using group chat software, Microsoft Teams, as their hub for teamwork—a tool that will be free beginning in July to further support and empower small business owners to achieve more and get their best work done.

  • For small and medium businesses, this new shift in workplace collaboration means that precious time can often be lost because business owners and teams must devote resources to create their business infrastructure—across areas like staffing to finance to production and even IT and security—to build the necessary components that help them scale as an organization.
  • These trends affect every organization of every size, but they pose particular challenges for small and medium business organizations. Many SMBs have limited resources, and their employees wear many hats. Often they don’t have formal IT staff, so technology decisions can be complicated to navigate.
  • Over the past four years at Microsoft, we have seen more than 50,000 small and medium businesses sign up for Office 365 every month—which helps small businesses improve collaboration, streamline communication and get more done together.
  • Microsoft Teams is the hub for teamwork in Office 365 that integrates all the people, content and tools your team needs to be more engaged and effective. Beginning this July, Microsoft Teams will be available for free for anyone, including small and medium businesses up to 300 seats without an Office 365 account in 181 markets and 40 languages. Microsoft Teams brings together people, conversations and content—along with the tools that teams need—so they can easily collaborate to achieve more.

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