App switching is killing your team’s productivity: Here’s what leaders can do about it

BrandPost By Paige Costello
Apr 13, 2021
Application ManagementWorkday

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Credit: artiemedvedev

How many apps does your team use? And how many times a day do they switch between them? The answer may surprise you.

According to Asana’s Anatomy of Work Index 2021, knowledge workers switch between 10 apps 25 times per day and miss over one-quarter of deadlines. All of that interrupted work and jumbled communication is a huge challenge for your team and organization. As a result of so much daily app switching, employees around the world struggle to prioritize their work, logging longer hours and burning out at higher rates.

In our distributed world—which, for many organizations, is here to stay in some form—we need to think about setting teams up for efficient collaboration. What’s the key? As leaders, we need to take a hard look at our team’s collaboration tech stack and find ways to eliminate tools we don’t need, and integrate the ones that we do.

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, the world started working from home almost overnight and with very little preparation. Now that distributed working is the new normal for many people, it is critical we rethink the technology we want our teams to be using—and how we want them to be using it. And, when thinking about that technology, work management platforms will be the cornerstone of any successful organization’s collaboration tech stack. Unlike other tools, a work management platform can support orderly work coordination, connecting your team across departments, time zones, locations, and apps. It becomes the central hub for all work, from ideation to the delivery.

Embracing a purpose-built work management platform as part of an organization’s collaboration tech stack is essential for saving considerable time, effort, and money. But having a work management platform isn’t enough. It needs to have a robust integrations ecosystem to really reduce the amount of app switching your team does. According to IDC, teams who use three or more integrations experience significantly more time savings—over 30 hours per week. That’s enormous!

Why is app switching so costly for organizations? Asana’s Anatomy of Work Index 2021 found that, with excessive app switching:

  • 27% of messages and actions are missed
  • 26% of individuals are less efficient
  • 24% of work is duplicated

With missed deadlines, inefficiencies, and duplicated efforts, workloads begin growing exponentially, creating a vicious cycle of overwork and burnout on your team. However, by establishing a single source of truth for your plans and processes (who is doing what by when) in your work management platform, and integrating the essential apps your teams rely on, you can help your organization maintain clarity, increase cross-team alignment, and accelerate work.

By creating clarity and accountability—and reducing context switching between apps—leaders can proactively adjust and adapt, making their teams more efficient and less likely to burn out. Looking ahead to the rest of this year and beyond, it is clear that work management platforms that integrate with your team’s most important apps will be a crucial part of making that vision a reality.