App Overload is Creating Chaos at Work and Costing Businesses Billions

App overload is causing stress in the workplace

Research finds 35 percent of Australian workers toggle between apps up to five times an hour; 63 percent of workers believe having one platform would make them more productive

RingCentral Australia Pty Ltd, a leading provider of enterprise cloud communications and collaboration solutions and a wholly owned subsidiary of RingCentral, Inc. (NYSE:RNG), today released its new report From Workplace Chaos to Zen: How App Overload Is Reshaping the Digital Workplace. The report is based on a global survey of 2,000 knowledge workers, 500 of whom are Australians and reveals that the very workplace apps intended to streamline tasks have sparked an app overload that’s injecting chaos into business workflows and costing companies billions in lost productivity.

Specifically for communications applications, Australian workers today are using an average of four apps, with 19 percent of workers using six or more. This includes phone calls, text, web meetings, video conferencing, team messaging and email, which 54 percent of Australian workers check first thing in the morning when they wake up. Sixty-nine percent of workers, across the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia (72 percent of Australians), waste up to an hour each day navigating between a myriad of communications apps, wasting 32 days per year. To counter this app fragmentation, 66 percent of workers want a single communications platform that will bring a sense of productive zen to their workplace. However, the C-Suite is more likely to be content with their current suite of tools (44 percent), revealing a disconnect with the cultural shift to newer communications and collaborations solutions. 

App overload is creating workplace chaos

Today’s flood of communications has upended the modern workday, creating a sense of workplace chaos that’s taking a toll on employees and their companies.

●       More than 72 percent of Australian workers say their communications volume is a challenge to getting work done.

●       35 percent of Australian workers toggle between apps up to five times an hour, and 33 percent of Australian workers said toggling causes them to lose their train of thought.

●       44 percent of Australian workers say that navigating across multiple programs makes their day more chaotic.

●       Australians are more likely to check email first thing in the morning (54 percent).

●       Australian workers are the least likely to be satisfied with their current set of tools compared to the US and UK, with 21 percent very or somewhat dissatisfied or neutral.

●       Australians find navigating between apps more annoying than doing household chores (52 percent), paying bills (52 percent), and trying to lose weight (50 percent).

●       Despite the prevailing feeling of app overload, workers find team messaging to be the least disruptive to their workday.

“Today’s workforce is under siege by a flood of communications apps. More than ever, our attention is scattered across a wide array of different apps and communications channels,” said Riadh Dridi, CMO of RingCentral. “These apps are meant to bolster our productivity, but managing a myriad of apps is proving difficult, with serious repercussions for businesses. This new research reveals that workers demand a unified experience that brings together all modes of communications into a single platform that promotes better collaboration and that seamlessly integrates with their other business applications.”  

Workers seek one platform for simplicity

The report found workers believe a single platform integrating all their communications channels would bring more simplicity to their workday. Specifically, the data shows that:

●       Employees in Australia believe this would help them achieve better workflow (65 percent), be more productive at work (63 percent), make work feel less chaotic (60 percent) and make it easier to work remotely (60 percent).

●       Workers 45+ years old still prefer email (51 percent), but those 18- to 44-years, prefer team messaging (43 percent). Team messaging-centric platforms are growing quickly in popularity as the preferred “home base” for a single communications platform.

“This report confirms what we’re seeing in the workplace, employees prefer a singular, real-time communications platform that increases their productivity and workflow on a day-to-day basis,” said David Smith, Founder and Principal at InFlow Analysis. "It maps back to the trend toward ‘conversational workspaces.’ Enterprises are striving to enable collaboration combined with real-time communications. As more businesses adopt these platforms, it will encourage workers to use these tools to get more work done with less effort.”

The C-Suite is slower to adopt newer communications technologies

Despite the growing popularity of team messaging among younger workers, the C-Suite has been slower to embrace this technology.

●       While 80 percent of C-level executives are more likely to find their communications volume very or somewhat challenging, they are more likely to be content with their current suite of tools (44 percent), revealing a disconnect with the cultural shift away from email to newer communications capabilities such as team messaging within their ranks.

From Workplace Chaos to Zen: How App Overload Is Reshaping the Digital Workplace is based on a survey of 2,000 knowledge workers across all industries in the United States, U.K. and Australia conducted by CITE Research on behalf of RingCentral. To view the full report, click here.


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