Toggling between apps is killing employee productivity

Cross-functional teamwork is a huge driver of success in today’s enterprise organizations. However, with the widespread growth of mobile and globally dispersed workforces, businesses now face a new challenge of ensuring their teams are able to successfully collaborate, regardless of where they are working.

However, despite the increasing demand for collaboration software, these apps have consistently failed to deliver on their promises to increase productivity due to app overload, increased context switching, and disjointed workflows between applications. Instead of helping, these apps are actually killing employee productivity.

App overload is getting in the way of work

At a typical enterprise company, employees use approximately 60 different applications1, and of these, most employees use an average of four collaboration apps and 20 percent use six or more. As a result, nearly seven in 10 workers end up toggling between apps as often as 10 times per hour, wasting up to an hour each day on app switching alone.

Given employees suffer a 40 percent drop in productivity each time they switch tasks, this toggling creates an even greater productivity drain; more than 30 percent of workers who jump between multiple apps say app switching causes them to lose their train of thought. It also encourages procrastination, as 62 percent of employees delay finishing tasks that requires them to log into multiple systems.

“We’re so busy ‘collaborating’ that we’re gumming up the real work processes,” says Larry Dignan, editor-in-chief of ZDNet.

Collaboration tools alone won’t fix productivity problems

In addition, collaboration apps are only adding to the flood of enterprise apps employees find themselves navigating on a daily basis. Workers are expected to use different apps for office productivity, project management, and team management—and then there are the apps they must use for phone calls, texts, web meetings, and video conferencing.

“Collaboration should never be seen as an additional task or requirement for employees,” says author and Forbes contributor Jacob Morgan. “Instead, collaboration should fit naturally into their flow of work.”

When you consider that many of these applications can’t communicate with each other, it’s no surprise that more than 80 percent of executives cite lack of collaboration or poor communication as the main cause of workplace failures. For collaboration apps to be truly successful, companies should focus on ensuring they integrate with other workplace tools and allow employees to work seamlessly across platforms.

An employee experience portal helps companies integrate the latest collaboration tools with their existing enterprise systems, reducing the need to toggle between apps. Instead of having to log into multiple systems to access high-priority tasks, insights, or data, enterprises can transform their collaboration tools into an employee experience portal that delivers personalized workflows and information anywhere employees are collaborating.

Leveraging collaboration tools will define enterprises in the future

Today’s employees spend 50 percent more time collaborating than they did 20 years ago, and three in four companies say digital collaboration tools are important to their business. In addition, 84 percent of enterprise IT decision makers see failure to strategically deploy enterprise collaboration apps as a competitive disadvantage.

“As business becomes increasingly global and cross-functional, silos are breaking down, connectivity is increasing, and teamwork is seen as a key to organizational success,” says Harvard Business Review.

By choosing a solution that integrates collaboration tools into daily workflows, business leaders can help employees work together more effectively—without draining their productivity.

1 IDG research

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Elle Sidell

Elle Sidell is a Digital Marketing Manager at Sapho. She joins from AVG Technologies where she worked on web content for business stakeholders. Her previous experience includes content creation, copywriting, and managing the online presence of several SaaS services.

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