Collaboration Is a Key Skill. So Why Aren’t We Teaching It?

Americans spend more time on work than on all other waking activities combined. Many of these working hours are spent collaborating with colleagues. We think together in meetings. We act together on project teams. We manage up and manage down. Across sectors and levels, collaboration is the name of the game. In spring 2022, Dev Crasta and I fielded the Workplace Collaboration Survey to better understand collaborative relationships in the modern workplace. The 1,100 people who participated in the survey were employed full-time in the United States; to qualify for inclusion, they had to work with others at least some of the time. We asked respondents what proportion of their job entails collaborating with others to advance shared goals. Nearly three-quarters (71%) of the sample reported collaborating at least 41% of their work time. This means that in a 40-hour, five-day workweek, people spend an average of 3.2 hours per workday collaborating with others. 

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