Do you feel exhausted? The stress of switching between apps with Alt-Tab buttons could be the cause, the study suggests

A study published by the Harvard Business Review examined the impact of continuous switching between apps on workers.Getty Images

  • One study suggests that excessive use of the Alt-Tab switch could contribute to a feeling of exhaustion.

  • Harvard Business Review research finds that employees spend 5 working weeks per year switching between apps.

  • A WalkMe survey suggested that an average of 76 employees at large corporations quit because of “technological frustrations”.

There are many reasons to feel exhausted at work right now, from longer hours to understaffing and side hustle and bustle. But there may be one you haven’t thought of: the Alt-Tab switch.

A study published in August by the Harvard Business Review reported by Bloomberg found that workers moved between different apps and websites up to 1,200 times a day.

This meant that employees spent just under four hours per week reorienting after switching to a new application. “Over the course of a year, that adds up to five work weeks, or 9 percent of their annual working time,” the study says.

That “alternating tax,” suggests another study, could help employees decide to quit.

Okta, an identity and access management company, told Bloomberg that its customers distributed 89 apps last year, up from 58 in 2015. Large companies now run an average of 187 apps. A WalkMe survey found that nearly 30% of these apps are duplicated or don’t add value.

But the bigger problem may be the contribution of the alternating tax to employee burnout. WalkMe’s large companies found an average of 76 employees in large companies who left last year due to “technological frustrations”.

The figure speaks to the growing digitalization in the corporate world, but not always for the better.

The shift to work from home triggered by the pandemic has supercharged the Software as a Service (Saas) market, with investors investing a record $ 90 billion in promising startups, according to OPEXEngine. Businesses have flocked to communication apps like Slack, Zoom, Monday, and Microsoft Teams.

But for some, Rohan Narayana Murty, founder and chief technology officer at machine learning company Soroco and co-author of the Harvard Business Review study, told Bloomberg that the value of several apps may be exceeded by the administrator of their use.

“The way we work is in itself a distraction. Throughout the day, we repeatedly switch between disparate applications,” Murty said.

In fact, Tori Paulman, senior director analyst at Gartner’s employee experience technology group, told Bloomberg that a human resources manager asked her if there was an app to deal with the fatigue their employees were experiencing. ‘use all these apps.

“The technology has gone from the great enabler to the great inhibitor,” he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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