New Research Explores Whether Today’s Workers Are Drowning in a Sea of Ineffective Technology

October 1, 2013

New Research Explores Whether Today’s Workers Are Drowning in a Sea of Ineffective Technology

Survey from Cornerstone OnDemand reveals a paradox between technology and information overload and the use of tech to tame our hyper-connected lives

SANTA MONICA, Calif., October 1, 2013 – With the rise of mobile, the cloud and multiple device use, today’s workers are more connected than ever before, giving them access to high-volume streams of information on a 24-7 basis. But is this helping or hurting their productivity? New research from Cornerstone OnDemand (NASDAQ: CSOD), conducted in collaboration with Kelton, reveals that U.S. employees are feeling overloaded, whether by work (50 percent), information (34 percent) or technology (25 percent).

The survey indicates that it is the tech-savvy Millennials who are feeling the most overwhelmed from being “always on” versus their older colleagues. Information overload was cited by 41 percent of Millennials, versus just 31 percent among older generations, while technology overload was cited by 38 percent of them compared to 20 percent of older workers.1

From unplugging and digital detoxes to meditation and hiding in metaphorical caves, people are trying everything in order to combat the stress of living in a hyper-connected world. Cornerstone’s The State of Workplace Productivity Report indicates that, despite the attempts to unplug, people are still turning to tech to tame their always-on lives. They are even willing to try out wearable devices to manage everything from monitoring sleep to exercise to spurring self-improvement.

Key survey findings include:

· Face Time for the Facebook Generation. Despite the stereotype that younger generations prefer to hide behind their devices when collaborating with others at work, a surprising 60 percent of Millennials prefer to collaborate in person rather than online (34 percent), or via phone or video conference (6 percent). Overall, seven in ten U.S. employees (72 percent) said they favor in-person collaboration.

· The Rise of Wearable Devices. Wearables have the potential of not only impacting workplace productivity but also how employees think about work-life balance. In fact, 58 percent of survey respondents said they would be willing to use wearable technology if it enabled them to do their job better.

· Multi-Screen Multitasking. While workers across all generations are using multiple devices for work, more Millennials are opting for the “bring your own device” (BYOD) approach (56 percent) versus their older colleagues (39 percent). Over half of Millennials (52 percent) use their smartphones for work compared to just 23 percent among older generations. And one in five Millennials (20 percent) uses a tablet for work, versus 10 percent of older employees.

· The Emergence of Buy Your Own Application. Employees are not just bringing their own devices, they are now relegated to buying their own applications to get their jobs done. Of those currently using software for work, nearly four in ten employees (37 percent) said they are likely to spend their own money to download applications for work purposes in the next 12 months. Even 20 percent of employees not currently using applications for work said they were likely to do this.

What are the implications of this research for employers? The survey indicates that organizations may be failing to provide their people with the right tools and resources for facilitating the new world of work and helping employees to perform at their very best. And while some people are taking matters into their own hands by using their own devices or applications for work, this approach does not always help the situation.

Comments on the News

· “There is a fascinating thing happening in today’s world of work. Employees are drowning in technology, yet they want more and better devices and applications to do their jobs,” says Glen Hiemstra, internationally respected author and expert on future trends and the founder and CEO of “Millennial workers, whom we all assume are the most enthusiastic about technology, are expressing a desire for more human, face-to-face interaction while also lobbying for more effective collaboration and productivity solutions. Organizations would be making a mistake if they overlook this ‘weak signal’ of an emerging culture shift.”

· “For organizations, smart management means staying ahead of what employees want and need in order to be most productive. It’s about embracing mobile and providing workers with user-centric applications that simplify – not complicate – how they get work done,” said Adam Miller, founder and CEO of Cornerstone OnDemand. “This includes making it easier for people to connect with the relevant knowledge and resources they need, when they need it, as well as ensuring the right people with the right skills and expertise are working together both online and offline in more meaningful ways.”

Additional Resources

· Infographic. To view and download Cornerstone’s The State of Workplace Productivity Report infographic, visit

· Future of Work Blog Series. To read the first blog of Glen Hiemstra’s four-part series on the future of work and the implications of the survey results for workplace productivity, visit the Cornerstone OnDemand blog,

· Survey Results Report. To download a copy of The State of Workplace Productivity Report survey results, go to

· Reimagine Work. To learn more about how Cornerstone is helping organizations from around the world to empower the connected workplace and facilitate the ways that work really gets done today, visit

© Cornerstone 2024