For many people, the typical workday doesn’t look quite the same as it did before the pandemic. In an attempt to understand the rapid changes happening in the workplace due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a leading project management platform, Asana Inc., explored the topic in their Anatomy of Work Global Index 2022, titled “Embracing the new age of agility.”
Though the study found many positive changes in how people organize their workday, other findings show a significant decline in strategic work. Below is an overview of some important findings from the study that can provide insight into how workers can better manage their daily work.
While Skilled Work Rises, Strategic Work Falls
Over the past year, workers have spent 27% more time on skilled work that requires specific expertise and prior knowledge. While this is a positive change, there has been a troubling decline in strategic work, with 36% less time spent on work strategies, goal setting, and the work that derives from strategic planning.
Because of the decrease in time spent on strategic work, workers have found that their skilled work hasn’t been as fruitful. Despite having valuable skills to put to work, workers cannot reach their full potential if the company’s strategic direction is unclear.
Too Much “Work About Work”
Despite calls for change, “work about work” is still a challenge many at-home workers face. “Work about work,” which includes communicating about work, finding information, managing different apps, managing shift priorities, and tracking status updates, is causing burnout for many employees and leaders.
Globally, employees for medium and large companies spend 59% of their workday on “work about work,” which is 5% more time than workers for small businesses. Consequently, around 23 hours of the typical 40-hour workweek is being lost to this type of work, as employees are being required to do repetitive tasks (including those related to reporting).
With the rise in remote and hybrid work has come the rise of work apps. Many employees have to manage constant notifications, which distract them from their main tasks. Over half of workers today reported that they feel the need to respond immediately to app notifications, while over a third feel overwhelmed by the number of notifications that they are getting.
While app communication is important to remote work, 48% of workers believe that improving the efficiency and clarity of their meetings would reduce the amount of overwhelming communication through apps. Forty-five percent of workers feel that the same thing can be achieved if they are given clearer responsibilities and expectations to guide their day.
How Much Time is Being Lost?
With the current state of work, employees are losing many hours to repetitive tasks, inefficient meetings, and other distractions. On average, workers are currently losing 3 hours of their time per week due to unnecessary and repetitive meetings.
Asana’s study found other similar issues in time lost. Over the last year, the average worker lost 129 hours to duplicate work and 129 hours to unnecessary meetings. Were this to change, workers could potentially save 257 hours per year.
Time lost to meetings and duplicate tasks have caused many workers to miss their deadlines. When asked why these deadlines were being missed, 24% of workers attributed missed deadlines to an overwhelming number of meetings, while 22% attributed this to uncertainty over what they should be prioritizing. Twenty-three percent of respondents believe that unclear processes are the reason behind missed deadlines.
The Challenge of Burnout
In this work climate, burnout is one of the most challenging things employees face. Forty-two percent of workers simultaneously suffer from burnout and imposter syndrome due to a lack of clarity, overwhelming notifications, and long meetings.
Though companies should aim to avoid burnout in their workers, many employees have begun to associate burnout with success. Forty percent of workers believe that burnout is an inevitable part of being successful, with nearly a quarter of people experiencing burnout four or more times in the last year.
What Needs to Change?
Because of the rise in work-related issues, there is an obvious need for change. It is essential for leaders to look at these statistics as indicators of change and progress and to adjust their organization in the necessary areas.
Asana’s 2022 Index also shows a need for workplaces to embrace hybrid work and learn how they can make hybrid work more effective. When doing this, organizations should first address the needs of their employees. By listening to workers and getting feedback, leaders will be able to evolve and thrive.
Though more people are becoming accustomed to remote and hybrid work, problem areas still need to be addressed to make the workday more successful. Daily communication, collaboration, and productivity can be improved with the help of Docket, a meeting intelligence platform that keeps meetings purposeful.
Docket’s numerous features, such as agenda building and research sharing, make it easier for organizers to ensure their employees get the most out of work meetings and activities. To get started, sign up for Docket today, and watch how your workplace changes for the better.