Research by Researchscape commissioned by Lucid Software shows that communication applications of all kinds can adversely affect the quality of work. In addition, knowledge workers spend a lot of time searching for information: about 5 hours per week.
Researchscape conducted the research in the U.S., Australia, Great Britain, Germany and the Netherlands. Zooming in on the Netherlands, it found that there many more respondents described themselves as hybrid workers than average: 72 per cent.
This suggests that the Dutch are even more dependent on communication apps at home than abroad. This can create highly undesirable effects: problematic internal communications are said to hurt “innovation, productivity and employee satisfaction,” according to the study.
Different apps, same problems
The researchers looked at the range of e-mail applications, instant messaging and presentation software found in organisations, and found that knowledge workers have an average of 4.5 different apps to keep track of. The norm, then, appears to be to communicate through multiple applications, from Outlook and Teams to Slack and WhatsApp. Evidently, this cannot be easy to keep track of. For 29 per cent of Dutch respondents, this leads to them getting overwhelmed. Likewise, this leads to a lack of alignment on projects (35 per cent), which 24 per cent of Dutch respondents say is an obstacle during work.
The research team sees all this can lead to undesirable issues such as working overtime. 52 per cent say that the goals of some projects are not met because the aforementioned coordination is lacking. For a third, this causes frustration. The Dutch often think it leads to lower productivity (43 per cent), frustration (33 per cent) and unpaid work on time off (38 per cent).
“The results of the Workplace Alignment Survey clearly show that it is still necessary for project organizations to ensure proper alignment within teams,” reveals Nathan Rawlins, chief marketing officer at Lucid Software. “We see that Dutch respondents (45 per cent) need better documentation of project goals and progress. Visual collaboration could help achieve valuable results here.”
Lucid notes that it offers several features within its own Visual Collaboration Suite that should mitigate these kinds of issues.