Published January 16, 2013
Despite the importance of working in teams around the office, the majority of employees prefer to go it alone, new research shows.
A study by the University of Phoenix revealed that that while 95 percent of those who have ever worked on a team believe teamwork serves a critical function in the workplace, more than three-quarters of employees would rather work on their own.
Some of the hesitation regarding working with others may come from negative team dynamics. The research found that nearly 70 percent of employees admit to having been part of a dysfunctional unit. Specifically, 40 percent of those who have worked on a team in the workplace have seen a verbal confrontation among team members, while 15 percent have seen an argument turn physical.
The research also discovered that 40 percent of workers have watched as one team member placed the blame on another for something that went amiss and 32 percent have worked with team members who started a rumor about another employee in the group.
Regardless of the difficulties that come from working in teams, the majority of employees believe teamwork is a critical skill all new workers will need. More than 60 percent of those surveyed believe collaboration and team-building, conflict resolution and team management are among the necessary skills for students coming out of school today.
"Employers and students should expect education to mirror the dynamics in the workplace," said Bill Pepicello, president of University of Phoenix.
The study was based on surveys of more than 1,000 U.S. residents over the age of 18.