In a world full of Modern Workplace thought leaders and hybrid workplace predictions, it’s interesting to look at a report based on actual usage data from multiple organisations.
SWOOP, creators of an M365 usage analytics reporting product, collected real usage data from 18 globally distributed organizations for their Microsoft 365 Benchmarking report 2022. This covered 113,655 active M365 accounts (213,411 including guest accounts, which seems like a very high ratio of guest accounts), through a six-month period between October 2021 and March 2022; a period where people were largely working from home.
SWOOP take user usage metrics and measure 7 “Collaboration Habits” of users. All Seven Collaboration Habits are calculated as ratios or proportions. Like financial ratios, they reflect a “balance” between competing measures.
- Email Liberated – reducing the volume of email – Formula: Yammer posts & replies + Microsoft Teams channel messages) / Sent email
- Asynchronous Collaborator – using Async collab tools like Yammer and Teams chat/channel chat. Formula: Yammer posts & replies + Teams channel messages) / Teams meetings (minutes)
- Chat Liberated – moving beyond using just Teams chat into Yammer/Teams Channels. Formula: (Yammer posts & replies + Teams channel messages) / Teams chat messages
- File Sharer – sharing files in SharePoint/OneDrive and co-editing. Formula: SharePoint viewed or edited count / (OneDrive active files count + SharePoint viewed or edited count)
- Community Contributor – Active in Yammer and Teams. Formula: Yammer posts & replies + Yammer likes) / (Teams channel messages + Teams chat messages + Teams calls)
- Screen Sharer – Sharing screen in Teams. Formula: Screenshare (minutes) / audio time (minutes)
- Camera Confident – using Camera in Microsoft Teams meetings. Formula: Video time (minutes) /audio time (minutes)
They take these 7 scores and combine them to give each user a collaboration score. This score can be seen relative to other users in their department and organisation.
27% of users using Teams channel messages
The report sample size is relatively small compared to all Teams users, and the data is likely to swing more towards heavier users of M365 collaboration tools and Yammer since organisations working with SWOOP are likely to proactively care about driving usage. The report found that only 27% of users posted at least one Teams channel message over the six-month period.
I would love to know how 27% compared to the number of users posting a chat message, I would bet that percentage is higher.
I suspect 27% of users using channel messages is higher than the average across all organisations using Microsoft 365. We still have a long way to go to embed the culture of working in a collective shared space and away from the muscle memory of email, file attachments and more recently defaulting to Teams chat rather than having discussions in the most appropriate Teams channel.
Swoop also benchmarks against a sample group in their product to help organisations understand what “good” looks like. Again, in their benchmark sample of 70,000 users, which they acknowledge “The organizations in the reference set are active users of both Teams and Yammer, so we anticipate their collaboration levels will be at the better end of the scale”, 58% of all active staff had not made a Yammer post, reaction, or sent a Teams channel message over the six-month period.
Globally, there is still a lot of work to do for organisations to drive the full value from Microsoft Teams.
Teams Chat can be disruptive if over-used or under managed
The report also notes that the constant interruptions from Microsoft Teams chat are significant. People in the report group, on average, are sending 65 Microsoft Teams chat messages per week (compared with 29 emails per week), with the busiest sending more than 2,000 chat messages a week. No doubt use of chat when Teams/Channel messaging may be more appropriate contributes to this high number.
Chat messages and notifications can be very disruptive, demanding immediate attention. We need to train and empower users to manage notifications and make cultural agreements in organisations to define expectations around chat vs channel usage.
Other findings in the report
Other interesting findings from the data included:
- The top 10% of #M365 users are responsible for 42% of total meeting time spent, whilst the bottom 50% are responsible for only 6%. Are certain users driving a habit of too many meetings?
- Posting in Microsoft Teams channels or Yammer, Inc. instead of email could save, the report proposes “on average, 26 minutes a day per person”. I always question these numbers, but I have little doubt there is a good amount of time that could be saved.
- Leaders are demonstrating superior collaboration habits than non-leaders.
- Almost 40% of “non-leader” staff had not participated in a one-on-one call with either leaders or colleagues over the six-month period.
Is Yammer still relevant to most M365 Organisations?
SWOOP comes from a background or reporting on Yammer. Their reporting heavily considers Yammer/Work out loud in their best practice measures. I agree with them in principle, I think Enterprise social is wholly underrated in terms of the value it brings to organisations.
But I concede, that Yammer/Enterprise Social has not been adopted in the mainstream and in most organisations the need for both Yammer and Teams with appropriate channels is limited. I do still think there is a case for Yammer in larger (tens of thousands of users) organisations.
Most of SWOOP’s reporting measures/ratios treat Teams channel messages/yammer messages as interchangeable, The ‘Community Contributor’ habit does look at Yammer vs Teams.
Most of the enterprises I work with, sadly, don’t use Yammer and I think Teams is as close as they will get in terms of out loud collaboration.
About SWOOP Analytics
Swoop provides Usage Analytics Reporting for individuals and companies to maximise the use and benefits of Microsoft Teams, Yammer and now with a new product released in January 2022, the wider Microsoft 365 stack.
Their reporting leverages Microsoft Graph to pull usage information for Teams chat, calls and meetings, email, Yammer, OneDrive and SharePoint and other account activity.
On the SWOOP for M365 dashboard, an individual’s habits are compared with an external reference set to determine their digital habit score. In the example above, Susan would score 53 for Camera Confidence.