E Pluribus Unum Gone Digital: Connected Software Is the Next Step in Productivity | Innovation Insights | WIRED.
Starbucks as workplace: How’s your work-life balance in the mobile age? Global X/Flickr
E Pluribus Unum Gone Digital: Connected Software Is the Next Step in Productivity | Innovation Insights | via WIRED
Google. Evernote. Wunderlist. Mailbox. Dropbox. GoToMeeting. The newest wave of apps is all about leveraging the right tools to help you get things done across multi-screen. This proliferation of mobile technology has promised liberation for today’s workforce. So why do we feel more chained to our work than ever?
Nearly 1.3 billion (yes, billion) people now work untethered from their desks, and organizations are getting serious about keeping this new distributed workforce connected and productive with tools that support with mobility and collaboration.
The arrival of the mobile workforce has given many entrepreneurs the hope that they will be able to find some time for life outside of work. But with time as the ultimate commodity in today’s increasingly busy world, the work-life balance that many seek is still more of an illusion than reality.
We should be at a point where we can spend our Sunday afternoon playing catch with our kids, instead of wasting hours sifting through emails to get a handle on where our business stands. Or have time to go out and meet with prospective clients and make deals that will grow our business, instead of being bogged down and overwhelmed while pulling all of the pieces together.
So why is this still a problem in a time when we have more productivity tools and technologies than ever before? Because all of our tools are entirely disconnected, and its contributing to our ever more fragmented workflows. We’ve put too much of an emphasis on our email as a productivity tool, with the hopes that new productivity management and content sharing tools from Google Docs to Asana will pick up the slack where email fails.
But that’s not happening. Workers are still spending 28% of their office time on emails daily, which amounts to more than 650 hours a year and 13 hours a week.
Microsoft, Apple and Google have tried to solve this information overload, with more than half of the workforce stating that they are demoralized when they can’t manage all the information that comes their way each day, but have ultimately failed to create a solution that enables everyone, from the small business owner to the corporate manager, to get their work done faster and more efficiently.
The tools that we turn to for personal productivity have made the shift from web to multi-screen and while they are useful, they are not transformative. Why? Because they are all great at doing one thing — but don’t talk to each other.
Ultimately, we’ve gotten away from the simplicity of work. No one should have to open 5-6 different tools, email, Google Docs, GoToMeeting, Dropbox, Basecamp, Evernote and the myriad of other tools we use, in order to get an update on just one project. All of these tools have become somewhat counterproductive as only 2 percent of us can actually multitask between all of them and because more than 50% of us are now spending more time trying to be productive than actually working.
In trying to make things simpler we’ve only diminished productivity, which combined with wasted time, negatively affects the bottom line.
So how do we solve this snowballing productivity problem? We need all of these software tools to work together as one, creating a digital E Pluribus Unum.
By approaching the productivity problem from a position of connectivity, our workflow immediately becomes more efficient because our tools are working for us, and doing the information sifting and organizing so that we don’t have to.
For example, CEOs should not be copied so often that they have 300 emails coming through their inbox each day. This system makes email another job that managers don’t have time for, and ultimately defeats the purpose of email as a tool for communication.
However, if email, project management, meetings, documents, notes, etc. are all unified in one place, CEOs can utilize the time they used to spend searching for the latest email update to actually get something done.
Working on the go can also be as productive as working at your desk if you’re able to access apps in a single connected place that doesn’t require opening and closing different programs constantly in order to complete one task on a phone or tablet. At the end of the day, everyone needs to be able to see it all at a glance when out of the office, whether we’re at the kitchen table or on the train.
Technology has helped us break the chains and free ourselves from being stuck at a desk all day, and now its time to keep track of what really matters when it comes to working efficiently — context and clarity.
We have realized how fragmented and disconnected our workflows have become, now its time to reconnect.
Steven Berlin is co-founder and CEO of Uskape.
Originally posted by:
Related articles across the web