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By Neha Mirchandani
Innovation is messy.
Consider that the array of mobile, social, and cloud apps in today’s workplace have all been designed to unleash productivity. Yet the sheer number of apps at work have made getting through the day infinitely more complicated. And the impact on our well-being and to the healthy growth of modern business is astonishing.
RingCentral and CITE Research recently surveyed 2,000 knowledge workers in the United States, Great Britain, and Australia. We found that app overload is the new normal and is creating extensive (and costly) chaos.
Global feelings of frustration
More than three quarters of research respondents said they “collaborate constantly.” But what exactly does that mean? Workers use an average of four communications apps at work. That’s the equivalent of holding four conversations simultaneously. Amid this chaos, nearly 7 out of 10 workers waste up to an hour of work daily simply navigating between apps. That can total up to 32 days of lost productivity over the course of a year, amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars of lost time—a stunning figure that has substantial impacts on the global economy.
More than half of respondents (53 percent) report using email, and 44 percent are hitting the phones. Workers also use team messaging apps (32 percent) and text messages (29 percent), as well as in-person meetings (19 percent), social media posts (16 percent), audio conference calls (13 percent), and video conference calls (11 percent). The only thing missing is smoke signals.
It’s no surprise that 70 percent of workers find their volume of communications challenging. Fifty-six percent of workers find searching for information in different apps disruptive, while 46 percent think toggling between apps makes work more chaotic. And 31 percent of workers have lost their train of thought while navigating between apps.
Incredibly, half of workers find navigating between apps more annoying than trying to lose weight! It all adds up to pure insanity.
One platform to rule them all
This broken system, however, is creating demand for a better way to work. Sixty-six percent want a unified platform for communications, and draw a direct line from a single platform to achieving a better workflow and being more productive.
Team messaging–centric platforms are the rising star taking over the workday. Workers rank team messaging as the least disruptive form of communication (email was third-most disruptive).
The future of workplace collaboration
Despite all of today’s chaos, more than half of respondents believe the single platform of the future will help save time, be more productive, and create better organization and communication with their colleagues.
It’s up to employers and technology providers to develop and adopt a holistic platform that creates an environment of productive Zen where businesses and employees can thrive together.