How App Overload Impacts Employee Productivity

by Hai Falor on September 24, 2019

App overload is real.

Between checking email, receiving Slack notifications, chatting with colleagues and updating the status of projects, the average employee spends an hour each day just navigating between apps.

Not only is app overload incredibly distracting; it’s also a huge time drain. Here’s what it’s costing your workplace and what to do about it.

The Impact Of App Overload

Workplace apps are meant to encourage collaboration and improve productivity.

Unfortunately, the collective impact of so many different apps is doing the opposite.

Consider these statistics from communications company Ring Central:

  • The time employees spend toggling back and forth between apps adds up to 32 days a year
  • Most employees switch back and forth between apps up to 10 times each hour, which makes it difficult to focus on deep work
  • 52% of employees say app overload is more annoying than paying bills
  • 66% of employees want a single platform to manage all their communications

During a typical workday, employees are likely using multiple apps just to access the people and resources they need. For instance:

  • They use Outlook to reserve a meeting room
  • They use Slack to find colleagues
  • They use an internal communications app to share news and announcements
  • They use an IT helpdesk app to fix a laptop issue
  • They use a different service request app to fix a broken chair
  • They use a food delivery app to order lunch
  • They use a ride-sharing app to arrange transportation

Using so many different workplace apps during the day can actually make employees less likely to have productive conversations with colleagues.

Instead of taking 10 minutes to discuss something in a meeting, they’re being pulled into endless chats, email threads and strings of text messages. That doesn’t even account for all the in-person interruptions that can distract them in an open office environment that lacks designated quiet spaces. It’s no wonder by lunchtime, they want to lock themselves in a closet just so they can focus!

How to Combat App Overload

If your organization is feeling overwhelmed by app and technology overload, it’s time to get serious about consolidation.

First, take stock of all the workplace technology you’re currently using.

Ask yourself:

  • How often do we actually use this platform or app?
  • Is there another solution we already have that can serve the same purpose?
  • Is there a more comprehensive workplace app that can serve multiple functions, eliminating several disparate solutions?
  • How user-friendly is this solution?
  • Does it truly make our employees’ lives easier?
  • Does it align with our organization’s mission and objectives?
  • How well does it integrate with technology we’re already using?
  • What’s the total cost of ownership?

Be relentless about reducing friction and eliminating anything that doesn’t meet this criteria. As you move forward, use the same mentality to guide your decision-making about any new applications you add to the workplace.

The Value of SaaS-Based Workplace Technology

New technology and applications are being introduced all the time. (At last count, there were nearly 2.5 million apps in the Apple store.)

While some will undoubtedly contribute to “app overload,” others could actually improve your workplace. That’s why the easiest way to avoid further complicating your workplace technology is to start with an agile software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform.

Unlike on-premise software solutions, a SaaS platform doesn’t require expensive hardware or costly, time-consuming, updates. The provider handles all maintenance and updates.

iOFFICE is the most flexible workplace management system on the market. With 10 independent, fully integrated modules, your organization can choose the applications you need rather than paying for what you don’t.

Our software easily integrates with a wide variety of other applications, including IoT sensors, energy management platforms and more. And integrating with your existing applications is a breeze.

Our Hummingbird workplace app also allows your workforce to find people, reserve spaces, request service and receive mail, visitors or important announcements. It’s the perfect cure for app overload.

Ready for a closer look at how it works? Start your free trial today.


Hai Falor

Hai worked in the corporate real estate division of BB&T for 10 years focusing on facilities management, vendor management, and IT systems before coming to work for iOFFICE. With extensive experience in the IWMS software industry, where he served many years in sales and as a solutions engineer, Hai knows his facilities management stuff.

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