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Survey: Less Than a Quarter of Workers Prefer to Work on Teams

Most workers say teams serve an important function in the workplace, but less than a quarter actually prefer to work on teams, according to a recent survey.

January 16, 2013
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KEYWORDS team building
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Phoenix — Jan. 16

A recent University of Phoenix national survey found that 95 percent of those who have ever worked on a team say teams serve an important function in the workplace, but less than a quarter (24 percent) prefer to work on teams.

Furthermore, 36 percent of younger workers — those aged 18-24 — who recognize a team's importance in the workplace would prefer to work alone all of the time. Some of the hesitation to work in teams may come from negative team dynamics. Nearly seven-in-10 (68 percent) of those who have ever worked on a team say they were part of a dysfunctional unit.

Collaborating with different personalities can be challenging, which might be why many U.S. workers believe that college graduates should have teamwork skills. In fact, a majority (65 percent) say that collaboration and team-building are among the necessary skills for students coming out of school today, followed by conflict resolution (64 percent) and team management (61 percent).

The survey identifies several key factors that may contribute to Americans' reluctance to engage in teamwork, including verbal and physical confrontations, scapegoating and spreading rumors.

Forty percent of those who have ever worked on a team in the workplace have witnessed a verbal confrontation among team members, the survey said, and 15 percent said a confrontation actually turned physical. Forty percent report that one team member placed the blame on another for something that went amiss and 32 percent said a team member started a rumor about another team member.

Source: University of Phoenix

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