RingCentral, Inc., a leading provider of global enterprise cloud communications and collaboration solutions, released new findings exploring how workers manage app overload in relation to their gender, geographic location, and age group. While workers around the world still have a long way to go to effectively manage the influx of workplace apps—specifically communications apps—West Coast employees, women, and baby boomers are leading the way in reducing the chaos and moving toward workplace zen.
A March 2018 survey report conducted by CITE Research on behalf of RingCentral, From Workplace Chaos to Zen: How App Overload Is Reshaping the Digital Workplace, found that using multiple communications apps designed to enhance productivity in many cases actually hampers effectiveness when used together. According to the report, seven in 10 workers waste up to an hour each day navigating these apps—the equivalent of up to 32 wasted days per year.
The survey of 2,000 knowledge workers across all industries in the US, UK, and Australia found that all workers are not created equal when it comes to managing this communications chaos. Based on their gender, geographic location, and age group, certain workers are ahead of the pack in their quest to overcome app overload and achieve workplace zen.
Battle of the sexes: women rock multitasking at work
Survey analysis shows that women consistently get less annoyed than men when navigating multiple apps, supporting other research findings that women are more at ease with multitasking.
In all 14 scenarios explored in the research, men always find navigating multiple apps more annoying than women do. The biggest gaps between genders were in the following scenarios:
Fifty-five percent of men find navigating apps more annoying than trying to lose weight, compared to 47 percent of women.
Fifty percent of men find navigating apps more annoying than dealing with an insurance company, compared to 42 percent of women.
Forty-six percent of men find navigating apps more annoying than someone chewing with their mouth open, as opposed to 40 percent of women.
Forty percent of men find navigating apps more annoying than their laptop freezing, compared to 35 percent of women.
West Coast cool: Western workers get the least stressed by app overload
West Coast workers (i.e., workers in California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) navigate between apps the most, but are also least challenged by their communications load and find it the least chaotic. As home to three of the top six high-tech metro areas in America, according to recent research, deep technology immersion undoubtedly helps West Coasters lead the way in mastering the influx of communications tools to enhance productivity and reduce workplace chaos.
While 66 percent of US employees find the volume of communications at work challenging to getting their work done, 58 percent of West Coast workers are challenged.
While 21 percent of US workers navigate between apps six or more times per hour, West Coast workers lead the nation with 30 percent frequently toggling between apps.
With age comes zen: baby boomers quiet the chaos
Older workers (ages 55 and older) navigate fewer apps and find communications volume less challenging, putting them ahead on the path to workplace zen. This is likely because baby boomers use the fewest communications apps.
Just 41 percent of baby boomers use more than three apps regularly (i.e., at least once a week), compared to 50 percent of Gen Xers and 57 percent of millennials.
Only 2 percent of working baby boomers navigate between apps more than five times per hour; compared to 19 percent of workers overall and 22 percent of millennials.
While 70 percent of workers overall find the volume of communications challenging to getting their work done, 64 percent of working baby boomers find it challenging.
“We still have a long way to go to curb workplace productivity losses that result from switching between communications channels, but we can learn invaluable lessons from those that have made headway overcoming app overload,” said Neha Mirchandani, Vice President of Corporate Marketing at RingCentral. “Our report From Workplace Chaos to Zen revealed that integrated workplace communications solutions that minimize the number of apps deliver time savings, better collaboration, and increased productivity. Two in three workers called for a single platform to manage all their communications and help them achieve what has eluded them to date—workplace zen.”