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How Much Time and Energy Do We Waste Toggling Between Applications?


Workers spend a lot of time toggling between apps and websites to do their jobs. But how often do they really do this, and how much times does it really take up? The authors studied 20 teams, totaling 137 users, across three Fortune 500 companies for up to five weeks. They found workers toggled roughly 1,200 times each day, which adds up to just under four hours each week reorienting themselves after toggling — roughly 9% of their time at work. While many companies may write this off as the cost of doing business in a digital environment, more often it’s an active choice that companies and managers are making about how work is done and the programs that are used to do it. As such, managers need to realize that simply adding people to cover for bad processes won’t fix the problem, look for places where the design of work is causing the most friction, and rebalance people’s workloads. Leaders need to rationalize the cost of acquiring or building better software solutions, focus on user experience, and invest in building a work graph to better understand their employees’ journeys through their work.


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