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How Overloading On Apps Is Draining Office Productivity

The abundance of digital applications is causing productivity issues and demotivation among employees in many organisations

Once businesses go down the route of implementing more tech for productivity, it can be hard to turn back. In most companies, technology platforms have become critical in managing day-to-day operations. There are applications for every aspect of every business, promising streamlined processes and increased efficiency.

However, more productivity apps don’t always mean greater productivity. In fact, excessive reliance on workplace apps may be making businesses less productive.

Research shows that on a day-to-day basis, the typical employee may switch between workplace apps a staggering 1100 times. Every moment spent logging in and out, changing tabs, searching for information, or inputting the same data in several places is a lost opportunity to be doing something more productive. Unsurprisingly, excessive dependence on digital platforms has a demonstrably negative impact on employee concentration, efficiency and motivation.

The modern employee will typically check their emails on Outlook, check in-house messages on Slack or WhatsApp, attend meetings on Teams or Zoom, takes notes on Notion, then look at their workflows on Asana or Monday.com, search for data on Dropbox or Google Drive — and that’s before we even get into all the industry-specific platforms.

A recent survey revealed that, on average, large companies currently utilise a whopping  187 applications, up from the 77 utilised in 2015. Almost a third of these applications were estimated to provide little to no value to the organisation.

When asked how they felt about such a glut of applications, 43 per cent of respondents admitted having to alternate between an excessive number of applications to accomplish their basic work duties. Meanwhile, 67 per cent of respondents suggested it would be easier to concentrate on work if critical information from all their applications were presented in a unified window.

Ease the financial burden

More apps also mean more subscriptions to manage. Each platform comes with its own pricing, and with ongoing global inflation, companies subscribed to dozens of services are especially feeling the financial pressure.

The increased cost might be justified if the apps were actually helping employees be more motivated and productive, but they’re not. Ask any employee what they want in times of inflation, and they’ll probably tell you they want a raise or inflation benefits. Nobody wants to be spending more money on inefficient tech.

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A growing segment of the tech industry has grown increasingly aware of this issue and has come up with a solution. No-code, DIY-style business technology is on the rise, offering companies a centralised system that is easy to modify and customise without needing advanced IT skills.

Companies embracing this no-code technology report substantial cost savings. One small business owner in the US claims that after switching to the no-code platform Kintone, his company saved up to US$7,000 a month on their operations.

By simplifying the technological landscape, companies can better streamline their workflows, increase employee productivity, and reduce expenditures.

Employee-driven transformation

A common misunderstanding among business leaders is the belief that implementing new IT is long, complicated, expensive, and requires a bunch of IT professionals. While this may have been true a decade or two ago, recent technology is changing the game. Anybody in any department can roll out a no-code platform. With customisation based on simple logic, they can immediately begin organising data and communication, automating workflows, and streamlining collaboration.

High implementation costs and steep learning curves are the legacies of traditional workplace technology. Employees know where their bottlenecks are. They know which tasks are tedious and repetitive verses which tasks add high value to the company. No-code platforms are geared toward automating and simplifying the menial so employees can focus on the meaningful.

Make open communication the default for productivity

These days, the biggest barrier we witness to embracing digital transformation and no-code systems is not cost, time, or functionality. It’s culture. For centralised no-code technology to be fully effective, companies need to embrace openness and information sharing.

Traditionally, companies use closed, siloed systems for most of their communication. Email and chat work on a need-to-know basis, where a sender has to proactively include recipients for them to have access to information. We’ve all experienced having to put our work on hold because we’re waiting for a confirmation email or an important document.

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No-code proposes a solution to information bottlenecks by making open information the default. All data uploaded to the platform can be accessed by anyone within the company.

In today’s rapidly changing business environment, information sharing is essential for companies to remain competitive, especially in periods of rapid growth. Having access to the latest and most accurate information at all times enables employees to work faster, make better decisions, and collaborate more seamlessly with one another.

Companies accustomed to strict information control may view the open nature of a centralised no-code platform with suspicion. No-code developers are aware of security concerns, so while open is the default, users can easily impose privacy restrictions for sensitive information, such as human resources and financial data. However, by switching attitudes about information from “Should, we share this?” to “Is there any reason not to share this?” I believe companies can find a better balance between security and accessibility.

Bring people together

Within any company, different departments have a need for distinct tools, functionalities and communication channels to attain the best productivity norms. Many companies use this fact to justify purchasing a broad range of highly-specialised tech solutions that don’t communicate with one another. The result is communication and data silos, as well as a drop in motivation among users having to juggle an excessive number of tools.

In almost all cases, interdepartmental cooperation and synergy are more valuable than the potential productivity gains of any hyper-specialised application. No-code prioritises cross-pollination, allowing entire companies to have both joint and separate spaces for communication, collaboration and information sharing. The downstream effects on teamwork and company culture cannot be overstated.

Given the benefits of no code in terms of cost, productivity, employee ownership, information sharing and morale, it’s no wonder the sector is experiencing double-digit yearly growth. In the modern workplace, there is nothing more valuable than people, and no code puts people back in the centre. Moving forward, employees will continue to demand a more comfortable, efficient and collaborative work environment. There is no more natural solution on the market today than no-code.

Source: e27

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