Eight steps to combatting business app fatigue

Eight steps to combatting business app fatigue

5 minutes

27th June 2024

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You know what it’s like when you’re working from home and trying to concentrate.


The doorbell goes. It’s the postman. The doorbell goes again. A delivery. Each distraction interrupts your train of thought.


That’s exactly the kind of distraction your staff face every day. Not from postmen but from the very thing that’s trying to make their lives easier: business apps.


When staff constantly switch between apps like Teams, Monday or Dropbox, they’re interrupted and productivity suffers.


In 2023, time spent by workers juggling business apps reached 62 working days per year per worker.


It’s not just about wasted time. ‘Excessive use of multiple applications can lead to a productivity decline of up to 68% due to work overload and distraction,’ according to The Small Business Blog.


The effects can be felt across your organisation. Developers face disrupted coding due to endless notifications. Sales teams struggle with fragmented client information. Project managers miss deadlines because of task overload.


But there are steps we can take.

Step 1: Clear out the deadwood

Business app fatigue may be a big – and growing – problem. But there are things we can do about it.


First of all, take a long, hard look at the apps you run and see which ones actually add value. The ones that don’t? Show them the door.


It’s also worth looking out for overlapping functionality and any apps you simply don’t need anymore.


Then, once you’ve had a clear out and know which apps you’re keeping, consolidate them to cut down on clutter and confusion.

Step 2: Invest in user-friendly tech

It sounds obvious that the more intuitive your apps are, the more your people will like using them.


But avoiding business app fatigue isn’t just a question of how simple an individual app is to use – it’s also about how well they integrate into your existing workflows.


This integration – you’ll find it in Microsoft Teams for example – is vital, since 86% of workers in a 2023 survey felt that unified communications would improve their productivity.


When you’re looking at that integration, it’s also worth considering both cross-platform compatibility and mobile accessibility.

user friendly tech

Step 3: Train and keep on training

The key to keeping apps effective and avoiding overload for your people is training.


With the right training, employees won’t just find it easier to use apps, they’ll find it easier to switch between them too.


And that training and support needs to be continual, whether it comes from your organisation or from a peer-to-peer network at your workplace.

Step 4: Set some ground rules

If you’re investing in some new tech and don’t want to add to business app overload, it pays to set some clear and consistent ground rules for how it’s used.


Maybe build some use cases and scenarios for each tool you’re bringing in, so people know what to expect.


Once you’ve set your guidelines, make sure everyone knows about them and sticks to them.

Step 5: What do your people think?

Before we can really tackle business app burnout, we need to find out how widespread it is, so take some time to get out there and find out.


Create ways to get feedback from your people. Got any specific pain points or sticky apps? Ask the people who use them what they think.


Then use this new knowledge to make things better.

people's feedback

Step 6: Free your people through technology

Constant switching between apps to perform repetitive tasks can be soul destroying for staff, so look to automate.


Leave the mundane tasks to tech by automating tools and workflows. Streamline operations through apps like Microsoft Teams and free up more time for your people to invest in more fun, strategic tasks.


Automation has already improved jobs for 90% of knowledge workers and productivity for 66% of them.

Step 7: Tell your team to Take Five

One of the best – and easiest – ways of combatting business app fatigue is to cut the cognitive overload and stress your people face.

BBC Work life

Step 8: Try out new methodologies

Productivity methodologies like Getting Things Done and Pomodoro can be a big help when it comes to preventing business app burnout.


By organizing tasks into manageable actions and building in regular breaks for example, GTD promotes clear, prioritized workflows so your staff know where they stand.


Pomodoro on the other hand helps your people stay focussed with structured work and rest breaks.


Taken together they can boost productivity, cut stress and prevent cognitive overload that prolonged app use can bring.

Better for your staff, better for you

Smart investment, streamlining and consolidation plus input from staff can make a huge difference to the performance of your organisation.


Firstly, by cutting down on distractions you help your staff concentrate on important tasks with an increased focus.


You also see better communication and collaboration thanks to streamlined processes and clearer channels. And you reduce the noise from excessive app usage.


Employees will enjoy a better work-life balance too. Since they’ll face less stress and cognitive overload, it’ll be easier for them to disconnect after work.


And there is a bottom-line saving to your organisation, since you’ll be able to cut subscription costs and simplify IT management.

Want to cut app overload in your organisation?


0800 064 3790

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