According to a survey commissioned by Minigroup , a Calgary-based developer of web-based collaboration software, small- and mid-sized company employees agree that tools such as a centralized web portal for storing and accessing documents, consolidated group task lists and the ability to edit documents jointly will increase workplace productivity. The study also found differences in employee preferences and styles in how they interact and do their work, based on gender, age and business size.
Key findings include:
- Male and female respondents revealed some differences in what increases workplace productivity: 66 per cent of men vs. 55 per cent of women said consolidated group task lists would help them be more efficient
- 80 per cent of male respondents said they want the flexibility to work when and where they choose, while 60 per cent of female respondents said so
- More men than women polled said instant notifications of new or updated information and documents would improve productivity – 66 per cent vs. 56 per cent
- 71 per cent of Millennials polled (aged 18 – 34) agreed that when working with colleagues, they would benefit from editing documents collaboratively vs. 47 per cent of Baby Boomers (55 and over)
- 69 per cent of Millennials polled agreed that a centralized web portal for documents and consolidated group task lists would increase workplace productivity
- For Baby Boomers who responded, a centralized web portal and consolidated group tasks lists and were cited 50 per cent and 52 per cent, respectively
In addition, at organizations with 100 – 499 employees, 70 per cent of employees polled said a consolidated group task list would increase productivity, and 70 per cent or respondents at those with 10 – 99 employees said instant notifications would do so. But despite a belief that more effective collaboration with colleagues can increase efficiencies, respondents were confused about what collaboration software is and how it can help them. 
- While the majority of respondents say collaboration and project management tools such as consolidated task lists (60 per cent) would increase productivity, 62 per cent say that they don’t feel it’s applicable to their business – showing a lack of understanding about what it is
- At small businesses with 1 – 9 employees, only 49 per cent of respondents have heard about collaboration software and have an idea of what it does
“It’s essential for small and mid-sized businesses to combine forces with customers and partners in a way that brings out their best ideas and brightest opportunities,” said Chris Nieckar, co-founder of Minigroup. “Great collaboration begins with great communication and this survey has emphasized our belief that an effective collaboration platform needs to be created around people and human communication needs – not focused on technology.”
Minigroup  has developed a web-based collaboration solution that is ultra-lightweight, portable by design, clutter-free, ad-free and cost-conscious for small and mid-sized businesses looking to compete with larger players in their industry.
From January 27th to January 31st 2012, an online survey was conducted among a sample of 820 Canadians who are part-time or full-time employees in companies with 1 – 499 Employees, and who work in offices, and who are also Angus Reid Forum panel members. The margin of error — which measures sampling variability — is +/- 3.46%, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.