HRE’s Number of the Day: Teamwork

Stronger teams appear to experience fewer distractions in today's disrupted environment.
By: | June 1, 2020 • 2 min read

16% Percentage of employees in strong teams who report distraction in the current working environment

Distractions, anxiety and financial worries are among the top issues global workers are being confronted with in today’s disrupted work environment, according to a new survey by Willis Towers Watson. However, the role of teams may be more important than ever in helping employees overcome these challenges.

According to the survey of 100,000 global employees, including 22,000 American workers, 16% of employees who report working on strong teams say they’re dealing with distractions from work due to COVID-19 concerns—a marked difference from the 56% of distracted employees who say they struggle to collaborate with their colleagues.

Overall, 70% say they have some distractions, and more than 90% report anxiety—more than half of whom say it is of a moderate or high degree.


What it means to HR leaders

As employees return to workplaces, organizations should focus on creating deeper levels of team engagement, says Patrick Kulesa, global research director at Willis Towers Watson.

“The best form of clickbait today are opportunities for workers to build team connections. For HR, this means supporting managers to enhance teamwork, such as by recommending more joint problem-solving efforts, more ways to recognize and celebrate team accomplishments and using more time to talk through how to cope with work-life challenges from the pandemic.”

So far, employees report being relatively satisfied with the support they received. They say leaders have:

  • helped them focus on work objectives (78%);
  • enabled them to obtain needed support (74%)
  • kept employees informed (73%); and
  • protected employees’ health and wellbeing (71%).
Jen Colletta is managing editor at HRE. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in writing from La Salle University in Philadelphia and spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter and editor before joining HRE. She can be reached at

More from HRE