While the overall outlook on employment is positive as the unemployment rate drops, millions of employees still report feeling overworked. More than two-thirds of employees are suffering from work overload, according to our survey, The State of Workplace Productivity Report.
It’s a vicious cycle. Workers are increasingly connected to work, meaning they’re working longer hours. But the longer they work, the less productive they become.
The situation is getting worse. Compared to our findings in last year’s survey, work overload has increased in the past year by 14 percent, information overload by 6 percent and technology overload by 2 percent.
Our survey finds that employees’ current tools and management styles hinder their ability to get things done. Only 19 percent are allowed to work remotely, although 65 percent believe that flexible and remote work schedules increase productivity. As open offices become commonplace, workers say they’re getting less done because of the constant interruptions from coworkers. While technology offers employees more freedom to accomplish work efficiently regardless of location, companies have yet to leverage it to the fullest.
Wearable devices represent one especially underutilized aspect of workplace technology. While only 12 percent of workers currently don wearable tech, 71 percent of those who do say it’s pushed them to be more productive.
As wearables and new collaborative tools enter the workplace, companies must adapt and create technology policies that cater to employees and limit distractions while remaining flexible. More than half of employees use personal devices to get work done, yet 43 percent of employees say their companies don’t have rules about using personal technology in the office, according to the survey. With established technology strategies, companies can smooth the ad-hoc ways people work across an ever-increasing number of apps and devices.
“Forward-looking organizations will foster new ways for employees to get their jobs done in today’s constantly-connected era, such as remote working and flexible schedules,” said Adam Miller, founder and CEO of Cornerstone OnDemand. “Technology should make our lives easier, not more difficult. The right technology connects people to the knowledge, resources and people they need to be productive and reach their full potential.”
Read more about The State of Workplace Productivity Report here.