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How many different apps, screens, and web browser tabs do you think you toggle between throughout your day at work? Probably a lot, right? Now, think about how much time you spend doing this. You might think switching between so many different tools is an unavoidable part of getting your job done, but it’s not.
There are ways to take back control of your time and improve your efficiency by using fewer apps, screens, and tabs for simple professional tasks.
How Much Time Do People Really Waste Switching Between Apps in the Workplace?
According to the Harvard Business Review, each person involved in a consumer goods supply chain transaction they studied switched about 350 times between an average of 22 different applications and websites.
Looking at this example, a single employee might switch between different apps and windows around 3600 times over the course of a day. The name for this type of toggling back and forth between different apps, sites, and screens is context switching.
And, while it may seem harmless at first glance, it shouldn’t be dismissed as just another part of doing business — context switching wastes huge amounts of time in workplaces.
Why You Should Care About Reducing Context Switching
When you jump from app to app and website to website, it’s not just the amount of time spent clicking between them that you’re wasting.
Each time you look at something new on your screen, it takes time to adjust to it and start working in the new context.
Every app or site has a different purpose and interface, so transitioning between different tools is never a seamless, instantaneous process. If you have to enter login details (which you may have forgotten) and open up an app for the first time on a particular day, you’re wasting even more time. Not only does context switching waste time, but it can also hurt your productivity by taxing your brain and making it harder to focus.
According to the same study from HBR, the average person in the workplace spends up to 9% of their time at work context switching — that’s a lot of time that could be spent getting important tasks done.
Use An All-in-One Email App (Like Spike) To Get More Done, in Less Time
While using some number of different apps and sites is unavoidable in most modern workplaces, you can drastically reduce the amount of time and energy spent context switching by using the optimal tools for the job.
According to another study by HBR, the average employee spends up to 28% of their workday dealing with emails. If we add this to the 9% spent on context switching, we see that an employee may be spending up to 37% of their time just on emailing and toggling back and forth between various apps and websites.
One of the best ways to reduce wasted time and increase productivity is by using an all-in-one email app, such as Spike email, which optimizes your email communications and reduces the number of tools you need for certain tasks and functions.
Spike is the world’s first conversational email app. Conversational email is a term for the way Spike turns your traditional email threads into chat-style conversations. This gets rid of formalities and repetition, making it easier and faster to read and answer emails. So, you can see how that would allow you to spend less time dealing with emails, but what about reducing context switching?
Well, Spike is full of other built-in features that eliminate the need to have tons of different apps and tools open all at once. For instance, there are built-in video meetings, so you can quickly call a team meeting from right within your email client, without the need to switch over to another video conferencing app.
There are also integrated group chats and voice messages, which means you don’t need separate apps for either of those forms of communication. Next, you have collaborative tasks and to-do lists, as well as collaborative notes, which make Spike function as a form of project management software.
Being able to quickly create a task and assign it to a team member based on the contents of an email can be a huge time saver. Collaborative online notes (with integrated sidebar chats) make working together in real time even more efficient. Considering the fact that most small businesses use dozens, if not hundreds, of different apps and sites to do business, having a tool like Spike that reduces the need for so many is essential.
Just from the features mentioned above, you can see how you could get rid of about six or seven other apps by using Spike to optimize your team’s communication and collaboration.
Reducing context switching and making dealing with emails easier are two of the best ways to increase productivity and get more done in less time in the workplace.
While there’s currently no app that does it all, using a multifunctional email app, like Spike, goes a long way toward improving workflows for you and your team.