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Digital tool overload a rising threat to productivity is an ironic twist

In an ironic twist, an overload of digital tools designed to boost efficiency could be hindering workers’ productivity. That’s according to research from Personio, Europe’s leading HR software for SMEs, which finds that over a third of employees (37%) report that there are too many different digital tools to use, and 36% state that working across different tools disrupts their productive flow. 

In an ironic twist, an overload of digital tools designed to boost efficiency could be hindering workers’ productivity. That’s according to research from Personio, Europe’s leading HR software for SMEs, which finds that over a third of employees (37%) report that there are too many different digital tools to use, and 36% state that working across different tools disrupts their productive flow. 

With remote and hybrid working set to continue for many businesses, Personio is calling on businesses to re-evaluate their digital tools and streamline if necessary – or risk damaging productivity.

Hanno Renner, CEO at Personio, commented: “While digital tools have been a lifeline for many businesses throughout the pandemic, our research demonstrates that using too many of them risks hampering, rather than boosting, productivity. We’ve all experienced at some point how fragmented data and processes across a multitude of tools can make even the simplest of tasks more time-consuming and distracting for employees. It is therefore vital that we streamline our tools and processes to become more productive as we continue on our path to recovery.”

The research – based on a survey of 500 HR decision makers and 2,002 workers across the UK and Ireland – also highlights the extent to which Covid-19 and the increase in remote working has caused a surge in the use of digital tools in the HR function, particularly. 

Since the onset of the pandemic, 44% of HR decision makers have seen an increase in the number of digital tools they use for people related tasks. On average, organisations report using 6 different tools for people-related tasks and insights alone – rising to 8 different tools in large businesses. 

Amongst HR decision makers using multiple tools for people-related tasks and insights, a quarter (25%) recognise that this causes frustration amongst employees, and a further 24% observe that multiple tools slow down processes and cause unnecessary delays. Meanwhile 23% observe that this disrupts employees, interrupting their flow.

Angelina Gentili, Head of People Operations at Personio said: “With many businesses choosing to work remotely or in a hybrid model in future, it’s critical that they ensure they’re equipped with the digital tools that’ll best enable their people. At this decisive moment, employers and HR leaders need to work with their people to evaluate which tools add value, and where they can simplify systems to bolster productivity and business performance in the long run.” 

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