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New Research Says Workers Are Productive Only Two Days Each Week. Here’s the Solution

Source | | Rebecca Hinds

The workplace has been inundated by new technologies –Dropbox, Slack, and the like– that promise to make workers more efficient and productive. Yet despite the unprecedented investment in enterprise technologies, workers are operating at levels far below their potential, according to new research by Asana. 

The rise of “work about work.”

The fact that “work about work”– checking email, searching for information, sitting in unproductive meetings– consumes our time spent in, and increasingly outside, the workplace, should come as no surprise to most workers. The study, based on a 2019 qualitative survey commissioned by Asana and Sapio (full discloser: I work for Asana) among 10,223 global knowledge workers–workers whose job centers on knowledge and information– found that the time spent on work about work consumes much of workers’ days. 

And it seems that work about work is an even more soul-sucking experience than we realize. Global knowledge workers think they spend over a third of their time on work about work, yet, in reality, they spend nearly double that time–60 percent–on work about work.

Unproductive meetings are a major contributor. According to the research, workers waste 103 hours each year–or 13 full working days–in unproductive meetings. Surely that time would be much better spent on a two and a half week vacation. 

App fatigue takes a major toll.

The explosion of workplace apps has done little to improve work about work. On average, knowledge workers use ten apps and software programs every day, according to the Asana study.

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