World Productivity Day takes place June 20 each year, and it feels more important than ever to recognize this global holiday. Many parts of the world are reaching the end of the pandemic, and along with it, the end of remote work as we’ve come to know it over the past 18 months. As we configure our workday to conform to one of the post-pandemic work models — fully remote, fully in-office, or hybrid — maintaining productivity remains a challenge for many organizations. 

Wrike is a leader in collaborative work management and partners with over 20,000 companies worldwide to help teams do the best work of their lives. With 15+ years of experience powering every type of organization, from startups to enterprise, we have deep insight into productivity challenges and what is needed to overcome them. 

Given the industry we’re in, we’ve had a front-row seat to the significant and lasting impact this pandemic has had on the workplace. In the early days, organizations were pleasantly surprised by the productivity gains driven by remote work. Workers had more control over their schedules and fewer distractions typically present in an office environment. Over a year later, the novelty of instant messaging apps and virtual happy hours has worn off. Synchronous communication tools that initially brought teams together began to turn into a burden, and organizations started noticing a decline in key HR metrics like productivity.

To better understand the recent dip in productivity and how organizations can overcome the underlying issues that cause it, we revisited two separate studies. One was conducted by Wrike, while the other was authored by Citrix. Additionally, we had a look at our extensive platform data. Two notable trends emerged.

1. More productivity apps doesn’t mean a more productive workforce.

The shift to remote work compounded an already complex and distributed work environment littered with an array of heterogeneous applications and communication channels. Organizations were forced to roll out more tools to keep teams connected, and we’re now seeing the backlash of those deployments. 

Citrix found that 44% of workers require 11–15 different applications or tools to do their job effectively and 37% require 6–10. The increase in apps and systems rolled out to combat the distance between newly disparate teams led to more complex workspaces and a breakdown of the 9–5 workday. Time gained without the daily commute was converted into time spent toggling between tools, hopping on Zoom calls, and responding to Slack messages. 

This level of unproductiveness as a result of these distractions is concerning those at the top. Our CIO Research, which took a bird’s-eye view of the scenario, found that even with instant messaging and video conferencing apps, employee burnout was up and engagement and productivity levels were down.

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We expect that, unless something is done about it, the negative impact of this digital workplace chaos on employee efficiency and productivity will increase as organizations transition to hybrid work. 

So what can be done about it? We looked at our platform data to find out.

2. Collaborative work management software is the solution to these frustrations and essential for the future of work.

After reading headline after headline about suffering productivity, we wanted to see how our customers stacked up. We knew that Fitbit saved 400 hours of meeting time with Wrike and Sony reduced project delivery times by 40% and email time by 90%, but what about the bigger picture? 

We found that numbers were up across the board in 2020 compared to 2019, and are still trending upwards in the first half of 2021. For instance, projects completed and tasks created have all increased post-COVID. 

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One thing all of these companies have in common is Wrike. CWM platforms provide better collaboration, extensive integrations, improved transparency, increased visibility, and, perhaps most notable, helpful automation features.  

Over the past year, we’ve seen significant growth in the use of our automation capabilities. And it’s not surprising. By automating repetitive processes, our customers spend more time on high-value work, and less on administrative tasks. As a result, this saves the average worker hundreds of hours per year, improving productivity.

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Wrike Founder Andrew Filev recently remarked, “What we’re seeing across enterprises is a strong CIO and leadership focus on establishing strategies that will enable the entire organization to work as one in a single digital workspace. By simplifying the way work gets done through sophisticated collaborative work management solutions, employees will have better visibility and alignment, make use of agile planning and execution, and realize OKRs and company objectives. It’s through this reimagination of ‘the future of work’ that companies will be able to achieve a happier workforce, no matter their location. And it’s well documented that happy employees demonstrate lower burnout and increased productivity levels.”

Instead of deploying all the apps, consider rolling out a more comprehensive, yet less complex, solution that offers a single source of truth to your employees. 

If you do one thing on World Productivity Day, try Wrike for free and get ready to boost productivity throughout your entire organization.