U.S. Workforce Hampered by Multitasking and Disengagement

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Study of information workers finds 92% multitask during meetings; 41% do so “often” or “all the time”

FuzeBox, a leading cloud-based provider of real-time communication and collaboration services, today announced findings from a national survey on meeting and workplace behavior. The study found that our always-on, connected lifestyle is leading to a more distracted and less-efficient workforce.

According to the survey of more than 2,000 U.S. information workers*, 92 percent confess to multitasking during meetings and 41 percent admit to doing so “often” or “all the time.” As outlined in industry research, multitasking actually lowers productivity, increases errors and causes stress among workers.

Considering the amount of time we spend in meetings, this is a significant drain on resources and productivity – 52 percent of survey respondents spend 1-3 hours in meetings weekly and 34 percent spend between 4 and 10 hours in meetings. Employees admit to a range of multitasking activities during meetings, the most common included checking email (69%), working on unrelated projects (49%) and eating (44%).

At the root of the problem is a lack of face-to-face communication that holds employees accountable and reduces multitasking. For example, 56 percent say they multi-task most often on phone conferences, and that number drops to 16 percent during in-person meetings and most significantly to 4 percent during video conferences. Apart from being more engaged during video conferences, employees are also more prepared — 63 percent admitted to spending more time preparing for a video conference call than an in-person meeting.

Video conferencing also provides stability and improved engagement for the increasingly distributed global workforce and the rising number of teleworkers seeking greater work/life balance. Survey respondents agreed — 57 percent would travel less and would telecommute more if given the option to video conference, and 67 percent would have deeper engagement with other employees and would feel more comfortable working in remote offices more often.

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