How can we be more productive when our work tools slow us down?
Many of us strive for a better, more productive way of working. The problem with this? Very often it results in adding more and more applications to our daily toolset. Instead of this helping us, app overload becomes more of a hindrance as the result is more ‘stuff’ to manage. Ultimately this just creates more distractions to getting our work done.
Oroson has spoken to many frustrated people who find the amount of time they have in their day to focus on important tasks is minimised because they constantly have to switch between the apps that are supposed to be facilitating their work.
Most people have an almost impossible amount of content to manage every day. Yes, we hear you! As well as the volume of content, there is also the problem of the number of places in which this content is stored. Unfortunately, managing our content is just one troublesome side of the problem.
With so many communication tools to manage, primarily email, instant messages, texts and even social platforms, the benefits of team collaboration are soon replaced with the distractions of having multiple conversations simultaneously across these different apps.
This constant switching between apps to find and manage our daily work, be that content or communication, is becoming overwhelming. Organisations need to find a way to help their workers manage this before it takes its toll on the employee’s wellbeing and the business performance too.
App overload risks
A survey of 2000 workers across the US, GB and Australia has highlighted some concerning – but not at all surprising, statistics on the effects of app overload. It’s a warning sign for employers to take heed of the distractions employees have to deal with and the impact this is having on their well-being and productivity.
Teamwork continues to evolve. This evolution is driven by the fact that workplaces are becoming more flexible, and customer reach more global. We are no longer confined to having our teams work from the same office or even the same country. Likewise, it is now more convenient to source products and services from the best supplier regardless of location. Technology has played its part in enabling a more flexible working and business environment from providing reliable communication tools to file sharing applications.
However the flexibility provided by countless apps comes at a cost.
The survey, carried out by RingCentral and Cite Research, found that the respondents were using an average of four communications apps in their daily work. Consider how ineffective having four conversations at once is! You can already see how the tools that are supposed to drive collaboration become a distraction.
Over two thirds of workers waste an hour a day switching between apps
It was estimated that seven out of ten workers waste up to an hour each day switching between the apps that are supposed to help them do their work. A clear contradiction emerging here! This can result in up to 32 days a year of lost productivity per worker for the business. This should be enough to make organisations sit up and take note of the detrimental impacts of app overload.
A staggering 70% of the respondents found the volume of communications they had to manage was challenging. No surprise then that 56% of workers said that having to constantly search for content across different apps was disruptive and 46% reported that switching between apps made their workflows chaotic. Almost a third (31%) said that app switching causes them to get distracted and lose their train of thought.
So what’s the answer to the disruption of app overload?
Clearly employees need a better way of working and organisations must provide this to help maintain a focused, less chaotic and less stressful workflow for their teams.
It appears that we must turn the cause of the problem into the solution by using technology to provide a centralised platform for employees to manage their work and communications in.
This doesn’t mean current tools all need to be replaced with one tool. Instead workers just need a way to minimise their apps and make the necessary ones work better together. With this approach, teams and customers can also focus on working better together and avoid the distractions and pitfalls of app overload.