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Productivity of employees working from home fell 20% last year while their work hours increased 30%, compared to the pre-pandemic period.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

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Software and applications like Zoom, Slack, and Skype helped facilitate remote working during the pandemic. But now, employees are feeling they are spending too much time in a day juggling with technology, and it is killing their productivity at work, according to a report by U.K.-based digital work platform Qatalog.

According to ‘Workgeist Report 2021’, researched in partnership with Cornell University, surveyed 1,000 people in the U.S. and the U.K. who work on a variety of modern software applications daily. The respondents were from different professions and ranged from executive-level employees to senior managers.

Nearly 70% people said using technology at work to find information is time-consuming, indicating that the typical workplace does not promote efficient management of knowledge and resources. Workers spend about an hour every day simply looking for information trapped within tools and apps.

The proliferation of software tools is also undermining the fair access to technology, with 54% people saying that apps can sometimes make it harder to find information. Employees are losing time scouring messaging channels, navigating project management boards, and digging through cloud storage systems, which could be better spent focussing on other work like designing new products or getting user feedback, the study noted.

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Some respondents also noted that they need to interrupt at least two people five times a day to find what they need - - which means more video calls and more messages. Software undergoes several updates regularly, and nearly half the people said they are concerned that important information often get lost in a sea of updates.

The findings come at a time when many companies worldwide are shifting to a permanent remote-working set up, making the use of technology more important than ever. Productivity of employees working from home fell 20% last year while their work hours increased 30%, compared to the pre-pandemic period, according to a separate study by the Becker Friedman Institute published last month.

“We need to press reset on the technology that underpins out working day so it creates focus, not chaos,” said Tariq Rauf, CEO of Qatalog. “We need a mindset shift that breaks from pre-pandemic 9-5 norms and embrace a radically new working culture rooted in trust,” he added.

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