Too many meetings? Not for us, say remote and hybrid employees. Capterra surveyed 500 workers in India to understand the state of collaboration in 2024.

The state of workplace collaboration in India

Whether you like it or not, working with other people is part of almost every job. Get collaboration right, and businesses can expect more motivated employees and better outcomes as a result. Poor collaboration, on the other hand, can be a drain on resources and productivity.

To find out how workers in India collaborate in 2024, we surveyed 500 employees who work remotely at least some of the time. In this article, we explore their overall attitudes to meetings, the role of videoconferencing, and the collaboration tools they use day-to-day.

In the second part of this two-article series, we take an in-depth look at cross-cultural collaboration, asking how employees work with others in a globalised economy across time zones, as well as cultural and linguistic divides.

You can scroll down to the bottom of this article for a full methodology.

Collaboration works for us, say employees

The good news for Indian companies is that remote and hybrid employees seem happy with the way collaboration is going. They consistently agreed that meetings take place at reasonable hours, start and end on time, have clear objectives and agendas, and are a

Employees attitudes about company meeting policies

Moreover, when asked to rate productivity at their current job out of ten, respondents gave an average score of 8. They also gave this score to their relationships with co-workers and their manager, and to their overall company culture.

Key takeaway: This data looks extremely good for managers. Employees are happy with collaboration at work, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement. Given that many businesses have the basics of collaboration right, they can begin to focus on the nuances between different types of collaboration and enable people to work in ways that suit their needs. The following sections explore this.

Workers favour virtual meetings, but not in every case

With the post-COVID shift to more remote working, it’s not surprising to see that virtual meetings are becoming about as common as in-person ones. Of the remote and hybrid employees in our survey, 44% said they have a roughly half/half split, while 27% do more virtual meetings and 29% tend to meet face-to-face.

That’s the current reality, but what would employees prefer in an ideal world? There’s no simple answer here, and it depends on the type of meeting.

Which business meetings do employees prefer to attend in-person or virtually?

Employees tended to prefer in-person meetings for the most critical interpersonal interactions —team bonding and meetings with their manager. While for high-level company updates, they felt virtual meetings were more appropriate. When focusing on work itself, like for project kickoffs or brainstorms, participants were split, but showed a marginal preference for virtual meetings. And they felt training was better in-person, but without a strong preference.

Key takeaway: Businesses in India may want to refine their collaboration strategy to suit particular types of work. This requires an open conversation between employees and employers to work out the best way forward. Employee engagement software can help facilitate these conversations, gathering workforce sentiment, and helping managers to share information.

Three-quarters don’t think they have too many meetings 

Although they might be scheduled with the best intentions, meetings can get in the way of productivity. Too many meetings, or meetings that run on too long, offer employees less time to think about their work and get on with actually doing it.

The good news for employers in India is that respondents in our survey thought the balance was about right.

Overall, respondents felt they have the appropriate number and length of meetings

Overall, most felt that they have an appropriate number of meetings and that they take up an acceptable amount of their work day. But a sizable minority —around a quarter to a fifth— said that they had too many meetings or that they went on too long.

Pointless, boring, or overlong meetings are never good for productivity. The top five reasons that employees gave for losing concentration in a meeting highlight this clearly:

  1. Already know the key points (38%)
  2. Meeting is too long (37%) 
  3. The information is not relevant to my work (35%)
  4. Too much information being covered (34%)
  5. One person is talking too much (33%)
Key takeaway: Most people know what makes a bad meeting, but it can be hard to stop them happening. The responses above suggest that other methods of communication may be better for sharing large amounts of information. Businesses may want to consider making this accessible via an internal knowledge base, for example.

Email is still the number-one collaboration tool, but others are catching up

Meetings aren’t the only way people collaborate. We now rely on digital tools to send messages, share our creations, and provide feedback.

Despite the real-time collaboration capabilities now available through software, the most popular digital collaboration channel for employees in our survey is still email. In our sample, 68% said they always use email when they collaborate with co-workers, while 51% always use document management software like Google Docs or Microsoft 365. Video meetings and phones were always used by 49% of respondents each.

The overall picture of digital collaboration tools, however, is fairly complex and reflects that different projects and scenarios might favour certain collaboration channels over others.

Most popular tools which employees use to collaborate with colleagues

Virtual meeting software has been a game changer for many businesses. It has allowed employees to work more easily from home or remote offices, which can help employees strike the right work/life balance and improve collaboration with global colleagues and customers.

At its most fundamental level, this software allows video conferences where participants can see and hear each other. But most offer additional features that can make these virtual meetings more useful than in-person ones.

Employees who use virtual meeting tools especially value the ability to screen share (62% put in in their top three most valuable features for fostering engagement), followed by in-meeting chat (55%) and content sharing (54%). The chat feature lets participants quickly share information or links without interrupting the flow of the meeting, and content sharing allows users to share a document, web page, or device screen to the entire group to make it easier to discuss.

Overall, employees were happy with the tools they use for meetings. 47% strongly agreed and another 40% agreed that their company uses software tools that enable effective meetings.

Key takeaway: Video conferencing software is part of everyday life for most remote and hybrid employees. The ability to chat, talk, and share online enables them to do their job and maintain a good work-life balance. But employers should also be aware of how tools like project management and document management software help people collaborate —as well as plan and deliver projects.

The state of collaboration in India in 2024

According to our research, employers seem to have got it right when it comes to remote and hybrid collaboration:

  • Remote and hybrid employees are generally happy with their jobs, including with meetings and collaboration.
  • Virtual meetings are widespread, but not always the most popular way to collaborate.
  • Email outranks video conferencing tools as a way for remote and hybrid employees to collaborate.
  • Respondents think employers equip them with the right tools to collaborate remotely.
Looking for collaboration software? Check out our catalogue.

Survey methodology

Capterra's 2024 Collaboration and Productivity Survey was conducted online in January 2024 among 500 respondents in India. The goal of the study was to learn about the challenges workers face collaborating remotely across countries. Respondents were screened for employment at companies that offer either hybrid or fully remote work styles.