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Too Many Apps Clutter Work Production

A recent report has found that too much technology hinders collaboration.

March 15, 2023

The Anatomy of Work Global Index, a report recently released by project management software company Asana, has revealed that technology, to be effective in the workplace, needs to be used sparingly.

The report, which surveyed 9,615 global knowledge workers regarding workplace collaboration, found that having too many apps can cause the opposite of what they are designed to do—improve work processes. Instead, when too many apps were employed, workers felt they were spending more hours working than necessary. 

But how much technology is too much?

Among surveyed workers who use 16 or more work apps, 25% said they miss messages and tasks, compared to 15% who use six to 15 apps at work and just 8% of those who use only one to five apps.

When asked how many hours might be saved if their work processes improved, employees using five or less apps believed they would save three hours a week. But when workers who used at least 16 apps were asked the same question, they felt that improving their work processes would save them 9.6 hours a week—more than a day’s worth of work.

Company leaders in directorship roles reported using an average of 10 work apps and said that they could save nearly six hours a week if their work processes were improved.

“Work about work”—defined as the time spent on duplicated work, unnecessary meetings, and juggling too many apps—takes up 58% of the workday for those surveyed, with skilled work encompassing 33% and strategic work making up 10%. The report found that 62% of the workday was lost to repetitive, mundane tasks.

“There is a big misconception that more collaboration is better,” said Rebecca Hinds, Ph.D., head of Asana’s think tank, The Work Innovation Lab. “The goal shouldn’t be more collaboration; it should be more collaboration where collaboration is necessary.”

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