There is no doubt that advances in technology have had a huge impact on employee engagement and happiness.
While some of the effects are overwhelmingly positive (from real-time communication to unlimited knowledge), others have a negative effect on employee morale and productivity.
Technology means that communication is possible 24/7. Employees are bombarded with endless notifications, emails, alerts, and messages, which disrupts concentration, workflow, and makes it extremely hard to focus.
Coupled with unlimited access to a wealth of information, employees are expected to do more with less, faster and better than ever before.
On an average day, an employee can expect to:
- spend 28% of their day dealing with 120 inbound emails;
- spend five minutes dealing with one interruption every eight minutes, equating to 50 interruptions per day;
- engage in 62 meetings per month, of which less than half are deemed to be valuable; and
- check their phone 80 times per day, or every ten minutes.
Digital overload is a significant contributor to stress in the workplace, and it has several negative outcomes for the employee and the company as a whole.
The statistics show decreasing levels of productivity and workplace satisfaction:
- Nearly half of the working day is unproductive
- Eighty percent of companies believe that their employees are overwhelmed
Another study found that a third of employees felt that they were always working, even when at home, and 23% said they often checked work emails at home. Approximately one third said that their social life, energy levels, and diet had been affected by work.
From relentless switching between apps to wasting time on trivial emails and meetings, employees are overwhelmed and overloaded.
Productivity Apps: The Solution or the Problem?
To combat digital overload and decreasing productivity, tech companies have designed a plethora of so-called “productivity” apps.
Each app on its own is effective at solving a problem, and when used correctly these apps should streamline a company’s workflow and improve a business’ output.
But the reality is that one app only solves one small problem, which means businesses need to add more and more apps in an attempt to automate and improve the whole workflow.
The result is a complex network of apps connected together or constant switching between tabs and apps each solving one piece of the puzzle.
Ironically, the vast number of apps we are using is adding to the problem of digital overload.
What is the Solution?
Companies need to provide support to their employees to ensure that there is a work-life balance, positive staff morale, and productivity.
Techniques to reduce information overload include allocating set times to check emails or eliminating email clutter.
Unfortunately, none of these techniques will completely get rid of the wealth of information – they just help manage it. And, arguably, how well the technique works really depends on the individual.
Perhaps the best way to solve the problem is by using technology itself, but not in the way we’ve become accustomed to (i.e. not by duct-taping more and more apps together to create a haphazard solution).
New Breeds of Apps
The solution lies in a new breed of apps. There are 2 new types of apps, that are, on one hand completely different, but on the other, both aim to simplify your work processes.
While Shift is designed to layer over the top of your existing tech stack and act as a central hub of information, Gmelius is an email-based collaborative workspace, that aims to minimize your tool stack and allowing your team members to choose the platforms they prefer to work from, like Gmail or Slack, while two-way-syncing your data in between them.
Multiple tools in one platform
It acts as a central dashboard for your existing app ecosystem, meaning you don’t need to change, add, or remove any of your existing technology.
You can simply connect them together with Shift and log in to all of your apps at once and manage all of your accounts via one simple dashboard.
Check your emails, social media feeds, and communication channels inside Shift without changing tabs or logging in to other accounts.
Email-based collaborative workspace
Gmelius makes Gmail your team's workspace, allowing you to consolidate multiple tools and collaborate with your team right inside your existing Gmail and G Suite account.
Gmelius acts as an email-based project management tool, allowing you to manage projects and clients, communicate with team members, delegate tasks, and monitor progress without leaving your inbox.
With Gmelius, not only can you use your inbox as a central hub for your projects (getting rid of extra apps and tools in the process), but your team members can also choose where they’d prefer to work.
By syncing email and Slack, Gmelius allows you to choose where and how to work. Emails can be translated into shared Slack conversations or instant messages, and vice versa. Unlike basic Zaps and one-way integrations, Gmelius turns your emails into flexible channels, allowing you to actually work with those notifications: for example replying to that email notification - without leaving Slack.
In addition, you can use your inbox to create tasks, add internal notes, and create project deadlines, helping the whole team to collaborate effortlessly and communicate in real-time.
The problem of digital overload is undeniable.
Every day, we deal with overloaded email inboxes; tens, if not hundreds, of workplace interruptions; a web of “productivity” apps; and 24/7 communication.
The beauty of tools like Shift and Gmelius is the option to rise above the noise of digital overload caused by modern technology. While they are completely different, you can benefit from both of them. By enabling Gmelius in Shift, you will not only reduce the number of tools you bring in one place, but also let your teammates decide where they prefer to work from.