Why is the default to assume "collaboration" is automatically equal to "productivity" though? It's not: some coordination is desirable but "collaboration" is a nice way of not saying "Authoritative, top down hierarchy enforcement" and "inter-department meddling"
There's a lot of tasks that just cannot be made to be more efficient by having multiple people intervene: at one point once your division of labor reaches the point at which a single individual is the most efficient at doing that particular chunk of work then that's the most efficient the task is going to get.
What this nonsense about "collaboration" really means is just inter-department politics: people being able to more efficiently breath down their co-worker and subordinate necks to get the task *they* need or are waiting for, done quicker. Doing things remotely and having to write an email puts things down on paper so they can't pretend they're not pressuring you to get what *you* need done when they do so more subtly by dropping by to say hi and "coordinate"
The fact that so many companies kept chugging along without skipping a beat is all the proof you need that most managers just get in the way of people doing their jobs.
Well, I don't think the article said that collaboration = productivity. If you read about the study, what they concluded is that collaboration leads to learning new things which translates into higher productivity. As someone who worked in offices for a long time, I concur on this point. When I was just starting my career I worked alongside people with much more experience than I had and I learned a lot from them. Mostly through casual conversations in the office at the coffee machine or elsewhere.
I have been working from home for a long time now, even before the pandemic. While I feel that I am productive, I can also say I'm not learning about as many new things as being in the office. Luckily, I'm at a point in my career where that isn't an issue.
I do miss the camaraderie of the office place though. I don't think I am as close to my coworkers as I have been in the past.