Featured image by Rami Al-zayat via Unsplash
There’s an app for everything now. Many businesses run on several apps. You can have one for submitting timesheets, one for scheduling appointments, one for general messages, one for certain teams to work together, and so on. No matter the field of business, there seems to be more than enough technology to fill up the memory on a phone in no time.
It may seem like these apps are helping you keep things organized, increase communication, and make work more efficient. However, they may actually be doing the opposite. According to research done by Cornell University, it seems that too many apps may hamper productivity.
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Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Technology?
There is definitely such a thing as too much technology. At the very least, it seems, there can be too many apps. According to one study, for instance, many workers, whether working in a traditional office, participating in hybrid work, or being fully remote, have problems with trying to handle too many apps.
Many workers say that they spend at least an hour a day shuffling between apps, trying to find the information they need across all their different tools and apps. Sometimes, just to get a little bit of important information, workers have to go between several apps to piece it all together.
Additionally, they might overlook the information they need if they have to look through too many platforms.
However, it isn’t just the number of apps and platforms that can be an issue. Businesses may also shop around for the best deals. This can lead them to change out platforms and software workers are already using. These changes in technology can cause confusion. They can lead to miscommunication and lost information when workers use the wrong software without realizing it.
While it’s beneficial to cut costs where possible, doing so can negatively affect your workers and cause them to swap apps often. It’s better to reduce the number of apps you are using whenever possible, rather than shopping around and adding more.
Can Apps Become Redundant?
Often, one of the biggest issues with technology is redundancy. Teams can use similar programs and apps, leading workers to download several different ones that share the same general purpose. For example, a manager might use an app like Google Meet for video chats, while their team uses Zoom or Skype.
This leads to redundancy in apps and a lot of confusion when trying to remember when to use which platform.
Moreover, some apps are only partially used. For example, even though some platforms can handle timesheets, scheduling, meetings, and communication, they may only be used for scheduling. Another app or set of apps may then be used for other necessities.
This can sometimes happen when an app originally has only one feature and then later expands to have features that other apps already have. Companies should occasionally review their apps and websites and reduce redundancy when possible.
Having meetings with your workers can really help. They can tell you which apps work the best for them and which ones they feel are redundant. This can help your business as well. This is because reducing the number of apps your staff uses can reduce the yearly and monthly costs that your business is spending on apps.
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Is It Just the Number of Apps That Is a Problem?
It’s more than just the number of apps that causes issues. Many workers feel pressured by knowing that the company they work for is using technology to monitor their every keystroke and move. While not all businesses do it, a lot of companies have started to track their workers, especially their remote workers.
This can take extra time to set up. What’s more, it can make workers nervous and feel under pressure, so they aren’t able to do as well with their work.
The integration of apps and the flow between them can also be a problem. If your workers are using two apps that don’t work well together, your teams may have to come up with complicated ways to move data between them.
Finally, communication can also be a problem. If all of your teams communicate on certain platforms but meet up on other platforms, a lot of information can be lost. This can lead to timelines that don’t match, work being repeated, and general confusion among teams. Having one common platform for all communication can make sharing information and schedules a lot easier.
The systems that apps are available on are also important. If you’re using apps that are only available on Apple, this can hurt workers who don’t use those products. While they may still be able to access it on a laptop, it may be difficult for them to work while on the move, such as when taking a New York car service to a business meeting.
What Other Problems Does Technology Create for Workers?
Employees often feel like they can’t get away from their work, even when at home. With apps constantly sending updates, emails, and texts, employees can feel like they’re always on the clock but not getting paid for it.
Many bosses take advantage of this as well, expecting their workers to respond immediately to any problem. This leads to tension between workers and their employers.
Understandably, some businesses want to get the most out of their staff. However, harming the work-life balance actually makes it harder to keep long-term staff. And it can greatly lower productivity for those who choose to stay.
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