Did you know that context switching can slash productivity by as much as 80%?

Did you know that context switching can slash productivity by as much as 80%?

We’ve asked around 100 PMs about what generates the highest pain in their teams and the answer no. 1 was context switching with more than 50% of respondents pointing out that teams really suffer from constant interruptions.

Imagine that each time you switch to check your email, react to pinging notifications, jump on “just one quick call” it takes an average of 23 minutes to regain full focus, as found by the University of California. Another study proves that people who try to juggle messages and work see an IQ decline of 10 points — equivalent to missing a night of sleep!

Our real-time analysis of 20,000 tech professionals' schedules prove that constant juggling of tasks and never-ending context switching can take a toll on team productivity. Over 48% of managers are grappling with distractions, at the same time spending up to 20-30 hours per week in meetings. I can’t agree more with Uber citing meetings as the top detractor of deep work time. 

But there’s another layer of how meetings trigger distractions and encourage context switching. 52% of employees confirm that they are multitasking during virtual meetings according to the Anatomy of Work report by Asana. The trend is on the rise, revealing a growing challenge in maintaining engagement and attention not only between, but during collaborative sessions.

And how does it end? Atlassian’s recent study stated that 54% of employees leave meetings without clear action steps. They’ve also reported that 78% of respondents faced challenges with excessive meetings, often necessitating overtime work. Sounds like they’ve been robbed from their precious deep work time for nothing.

Drawing from proven success stories like Slack's 'Focus Fridays' and Asana's 'Meeting Doomsday,' which yielded an additional 11 hours monthly for deep work, we see how a strategic decision can unlock significant benefits. But what’s the next step?

I believe it's essential for teams to focus on intentional communication, not just crossing out all the meetings from their calendars. Data-driven approach we’re taking empowers leaders to make informed decisions and choose from a variety of practical solutions customized to their teams’ collaboration habits. On one hand it’s about optimizing meeting durations and frequency, limiting the number of attendees along with punctuating meetings with breaks to improve team well-being and efficiency. But at the same time it’s about building bonds with co-workers, preventing teams from siloing, boosting knowledge sharing and streamlined workflows. 

On our blog you’ll find more details on how to measure your employees’ deep work & multiple context work and how deep work streak length influences productivity

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

May 2, 2024

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