Cupertino, CA, April 12, 2022 – The world of work has shifted significantly over the past two years towards home offices, remote work and distributed locations. Collaboration in teams now no longer takes place only in the shared office but makes much greater use of digital solutions for communication and collaboration. For this reason, OTRS Group’s latest OTRS Spotlight surveyed 500 international executives in Germany, the USA, Brazil, Mexico and Singapore on the topic of leadership in the digital age.
#1 Remote work accounts for 25 to 75 percent of work time for the majority of teams
More than half of the executives surveyed by OTRS Group (53 percent) said their teams currently work between one and three-quarters of the time digitally and remotely, and 9 percent of them do it full time. However, 9 percent of teams also continue to complete their tasks entirely in the corporate office. While most teams make use of the home office to varying degrees, a majority also rely on regular meetings at the corporate office: 81 percent meet in person once or several times a week, but 10 percent do not meet at all, only once a year or every few months.
#2 Team building is the biggest challenge in digitally networked teams
A total of 57 percent of survey participants find managing team members who are distributed in home offices a challenge. By far the most difficult tasks here are team building and maintaining personal contacts: 69 percent of respondents each see this as “very challenging” and “challenging.” In contrast, 49 percent consider the transparency of processes to be “hardly challenging” or “not at all challenging. Other tasks and conditions of teamwork, such as decision-making and approval processes; reporting and management; or IT support, are rated as rather challenging with values around 55 percent.
“These results show that leadership in digitally networked teams is still a difficult task for the majority and that the greatest challenge lies precisely where personal and interpersonal issues, team building and relationship management are concerned,” says Sabine Riedel, Head of Global Marketing and Global Human Relations at OTRS Group.
#3 Most popular measures: Face-to-face meetings and multimedia communications
Overall, team spirit (23 percent) and an understanding of shared team direction (22 percent) are also seen as the biggest keys to digital leadership by the executives surveyed. Among their most important team-building measures, therefore, most executives focus on regular team meetings (28 percent) and regular feedback meetings (26 percent). At the same time, their toolbox for improving leadership and collaboration in digital teams includes the use of multimedia communications (34 percent) and new workflow solutions (32 percent).
#4 Planned investments: BPM and CRM solutions for seamless collaboration
The intention to ensure secure communication and collaboration across distributed workplaces within their own teams and with customers is also reflected in executives’ budget and investment plans, with cybersecurity solutions leading the way at 20 percent, followed by business process management and workflow solutions (15 percent) and customer service management (14 percent).
“To meet the challenges of leadership in digitally networked teams, executives often combine both: regular face-to-face team meetings and the use of powerful communication and workflow solutions,” says Sabine Riedel, summarizing the results of this OTRS Spotlight. “Those who strike the right balance here promote flexibility, collaboration and personal responsibility in the team and create resilience and a wide range of options for action that make companies fit for the future in the face of market competition and in times of crisis.”
Profile of executives surveyed:
OTRS AG surveyed 500 international executives in Germany, the USA, Brazil, Mexico and Singapore on the topic of leadership in the digital age in the latest OTRS Spotlight. 66 percent of the executives surveyed are employed at the (senior) management level, 22 percent as directors and 12 percent as vice presidents or at C-level. Of these, 49 percent work in the B2B sector (business to business), 29 percent in the B2C segment (business to consumer) and 22 percent in public administration.
About OTRS Group
OTRS Group is the manufacturer and the world’s largest provider of the enterprise service management suite OTRS, awarded with the SERVIEW CERTIFIED TOOL seal of approval.
It offers companies industry-independent solutions for structured communication in customer service, IT service management and security management. In addition to the core product OTRS, the security solutions STORM and CONTROL ensure efficient cybersecurity incident management and transparent documentation in accordance with standards such as ISO 27001.
Among its customers are Lufthansa, Airbus, Porsche, BSI (Federal Office for Security in Information Technology), Max Planck Institute, Toyota and TUI Cruises. The company consists of OTRS AG and its five subsidiaries OTRS Inc. (USA), OTRS S.A. de C.V. (Mexico), OTRS Asia Pte. Ltd. (Singapore), OTRS do Brasil Soluções Ltda. (Brazil) and OTRS Magyarország Kft. (Hungary). OTRS AG is listed on the basic board of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. For more information, see www.otrs.com.