We surveyed 1,264 chat users* to find out, and we started with two seemingly simple questions:

  • How do you communicate at work?
  • Does team chat actually make you more productive?

What we learned was fascinating and inspiring, so we gathered up the data and created the team chat guide.

Take me to the team chat guide

A preview of what we learned

First and foremost, we discovered that people seek a deeper sense of connection when working together, which a team chat tool is purpose-built to do. But only when used well.

Survey says: Users whose colleagues know their chat style feel more connected to their coworkers (54%), more productive (51%), and highly engaged at work (41%).

So, how do you use team chat “well”? We learned that while people are using an average of 4.5 digital tools to communicate with coworkers, they reported having little guidance about which tools to use or when to use them, and would welcome guidelines of some sort to help.

Survey says: Most chat users (81%) are at least somewhat interested in receiving clear guidelines from their company on how, when, and why to use their chat tool.

The team chat guide digs deep into these issues, offering tips on how to use a team chat tool as well as how to create your own guidelines.

Because something we learn again and again is this: people want the freedom, respect, and ability to work how and when they work best. All teams aren’t the same, but all teams can work better together by having conversations about how they work and want to work together. Then, a chat tool’s job is to help facilitate that.

A tip from the guide to share:

Non-work interactions make for a stronger, more efficient team. When people know the people they work with, they work better together.

Engage with your teammates and have open conversations about working and communication styles. Because when team chat is used with consistent and reliable practices, co-located and distributed teams alike can experience the real promise of these workplace communication tools.

Take me to the team chat guide


*On behalf of Atlassian, Researchscape conducted an online survey of 1,264 chat users working at least 10 hours a week in order to better understand behavior, usage, and attitudes towards instant messaging at work. Respondents were recruited from a third-party panel. In exchange for their participation, each respondent was offered points towards rewards or an honorarium.

What do people really want from team chat?