Context-switching while hopping back and forth between digital tools hampers productivity for 45% of workers, according to a report from software company Qatalog. The study, conducted in partnership with the Ellis Idea Lab at Cornell University, surveyed 1,000 workers.
For 44% of workers, siloed digital tools are making it hard to gauge whether work is being duplicated. Nearly half said the inability to track work led to mistakes on the job.
Workers report spending nearly one hour a day looking for information between collaboration, storage and messaging apps, and half of workers fear information will get lost in the shuffle.
Flexibility will mark the next phase of remote work. It's likely the changes will bring more, not less, complexity as organizations rely on technology solutions to stay operative, whether employees are at home or in the office.
Most workers want the nimbleness of hybrid work to stay, but seven in 10 employees say there's currently room for improvement in the way technology is helping them execute on work tasks, according to Qatalog data. Given the abundance of digital tools, U.S. employees switch between 13 applications 30 times per day on average, according to Asana's Anatomy of Work Index 2021 report.
Tool providers are beginning to respond to employee burnout and messaging overload with tweaks to their platforms.
"The major players in collaboration are moving to reduce context-switching and app-switching so employees can better focus on what they're doing," said Wayne Kurtzman, research director, social and collaboration at IDC.
Google announced Monday updates to the Rooms experience within Google Chat aimed at centralizing "people, topics and projects" within Google Workspace, according to an announcement. Microsoft also released a new Whiteboard capability within teams to allow for synchronous collaboration between users earlier this week.
Companies entrusted the CIO and the IT organization with supporting productivity. With so much company knowledge stored on tech platforms, it's up to the technologists to ensure that companies can keep operating efficiently, and are able to derive value instead of disruption from the technologies they lean on.