The Collective Intelligence of Remote Teams

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Over the past decade, our research team has extensively studied group collaboration in both face-to-face and remote settings. Our findings suggest that this decision of where coworkers are located is not as critical as some assume. It’s not where we work that matters the most; it’s how the work is done and who is doing it. In a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, we analyzed the results from more than 5,000 participants in over 1,300 groups across 22 different samples and found that groups working remotely can be as effective as groups working face to face. More specifically, we measured the collective intelligence of groups — their ability to work together effectively on a wide range of tasks — and found very little difference in the factors that explain collective intelligence of the face-to-face and remote teams.

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