Using too many collaboration tools is actually making work harder

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Workers are spending 1.5 working days each week, or around 30% of their time, navigating “disconnected” tools at work, according to a new report by Asana.

Its study of more than 3,000 UK and US knowledge workers reveals the overwhelming desire by workers to have fewer, but more effective, tools to help them get their jobs done.

Unsurprisingly, Asana reckons artificial intelligence could help to pave the way to a more productive workforce. However the company also acknowledges that AI introduce even more choice for companies, in turn making it harder to refine solutions.

One-third (32%) of the workers say that while their organization provides technologies to help workloads, they’re not being used effectively, resulting in waster money on unused licences.

A further two in five (45%) say that they want more guidance from their employers on how to collaborate effectively. The average worker spends 84 minutes each day looking for information they need to get their work done. Another hour and a half is spent switching between collaboration tools (57 minutes) and deciding which collaboration tool to use (30 minutes).

According to Asana, the “sweet spot” appears to be the provision of 12 different digital collaboration tools, with only one of them accounting for work management tools.

Workers have also called for standardization, with three-quarters (74%) suggesting it would be easier if all workers within their organization used the same core technologies.

Those using too many tools are most optimistic about the benefits of AI and its ability to reduce the number of tools they need to use, but seven in 10 (72%) say that their employer is not prepared to deploy AI tools.

Dr. Rebecca Hinds, Head of Asana’s Work Innovation Lab, commented: “In today’s world of work – where workers are inundated with notifications and messages – the line between being connected and distracted is thin.”

Hinds said that workers are calling for a “tech reset” and that businesses need to align more closely with worker needs.

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