Too many apps? Toil and sloth: How multiple collaboration tools leads to wasted work

Hands up if you’ve never lost your train of thought when flipping between emails and spreadsheets trying to get two things done at once?

We’ve all done it – and a new study from unified communications provider RingCentral finds employees waste up to an hour of their working days hopping between apps, leading to a deficit of up to 32 days a year.

The study, which surveyed more than 2,000 knowledge workers across the US, UK and Australia, found more than two thirds (68%) said they toggle between apps up to 10 times an hour. Three in 10 (31%) admitted this process often causes them to lose their place.

The data also explored generational collaboration habits. 43% of 18- to 44-year old respondents said they preferred team messaging tools, compared with 51% of those 45 and over who still opt for email. When it came to C-suite workers, RingCentral argues they are more likely to be content with their current suite of tools, despite the fact 80% are more likely to find their volume of communications ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ challenging.

Naturally, the figures also posit that using a ‘unified platform integrating all their communications channels would bring more simplicity to their workday.’ The fact RingCentral offers such a platform is of no consequence, but those polled did say a single platform would help them achieve better workflow, be more productive at work, make work feel less chaotic, and make it easier to work remotely.

“The digital workplace of the future will no doubt continue to be shaped by the rapid pace of innovation and new collaborative communications solutions,” Neha Mirchandani, RingCentral VP corporate marketing, wrote in a blog post. “The key to success is staying above water on app overload with a single communications platform approach.

“This holds the promise of workplace Zen where focus and productivity reign supreme,” Mirchandani added.

According to figures from Synergy Research earlier this month, RingCentral is second only to Mitel in the unified communications as a service (UCaaS) market, with growth consistent at 300,000 seats per quarter.

In the more facetious end of the figures, respondents admitted that navigating between apps was more annoying than doing household chores (53%), paying bills (52%) and trying to lose weight (50%).

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