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The Most Unproductive Apps Used at Work.

by Uneeb Khan
Unproductive Apps

The average office worker spends 26 days a year doing non-work related things during the workday. Most of that time is spent surfing the web and spending time on unproductive apps.

So, what are the most used applications that have nothing to do with work but steal hundreds of hours every year? We were specifically seeking to learn that.

Any company with a large number of employees faces the challenge of managing them. Capterra’s study shows that 91% of CEOs recognize that HR tools are critical to their business, but only 57% use them.

Most Used Ineffective Websites

“Unproductive” is a relative term – what is useful to some is a waste of time to others. So employee computer monitoring software can label different apps and websites as productive or unproductive based on its perception.

We looked at the most frequently used apps that were classified as unproductive in 2021 and compiled a top 10 list. To get a sense of how behaviors have changed over time, the column on the right lists the most frequently used unproductive apps from the previous year.

  1. YouTube             
  2. Facebook           
  3. WhatsApp          
  4. Skype   
  5. Netflix 
  6. Twitter
  7. Spotify 
  8. VLC media player            
  9. Amazon              
  10. Slack

The Holy Trinity of Inefficiency – Youtube, Facebook, and Whatsapp

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work, but not what office workers spend their time on.

Data from a monitoring program shows that Youtube, Facebook, and Whatsapp are among the most unproductive apps used in the workplace. In fact, Facebook and Youtube have not left the top spot since the first survey in 2014, nor have Twitter, Netflix, and Amazon.

What does this mean?

That after all these years, employees’ unproductive habits still exist. They can’t help but chat, watch videos, and shop during work hours.

Increase in Unproductive Chatting

Unsurprisingly, messaging apps like Skype and Slack are the most frequently used inefficient apps. In the first year of the pandemic, these apps were at the center of online collaboration. Now they have been relegated to the “ineffective” category.

This may be due to pandemic fatigue.

Tools like Slack and Skype were mostly useful tools for peer collaboration. Messaging apps made it easy to stay in touch with multiple colleagues at the same time, share links easily, and get quick feedback.

Before the pandemic, it was possible to get up from your desk and communicate directly with your colleagues. And in the new remote reality of 2021, these digital communication tools are the only way to stay connected with your team. As a result, people have been spending more time on messaging apps, and Slack has seen an overall increase in the number of messages sent per user per day by an average of 20 percent.

Messaging of any kind is a distraction and a 20% increase in the number of messages sent means more distractions in the workday. It’s no wonder managers try to limit the use of messaging apps and protect work time by calling it “unproductive.”

Watching Netflix During Work Hours – What Are the Benefits of Remote Work?

Watching movies and TV shows during work hours seems to be a growing trend: In 2020, Netflix was ranked ninth, a year later it was ranked fifth, and overall usage of this streaming platform increased by 17.3%.

Those who work from home often start using Netflix while cooking, eating, or taking a break. While many point to the difficulties of working from home, it is a way to get away from work for a while.

Others admit to watching movies or programs in the background while working. In fact, in one survey, 73% of respondents said they watch TV at work.

The fact that Netflix is one of the most used ineffective apps is not surprising in itself, as it was on this list eight years ago. Thanks to telecommuting, it’s possible to watch Netflix whenever you want without having to worry about your boss watching.

Times Change, and So Do the Applications

It’s natural that as times change, so do our needs and, ultimately, the apps we use at work. It’s not surprising, but it’s always interesting to see how our habits shape our social lives and vice versa.

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