App fatigue is a documented phenomenon among consumers, but a new report from Harmon.ie suggests app fatigue is hitting professionals in the workplace, too.
The company released the results of its survey late last week. Titled “The False Promise of the App Economy,” Harmon.ie's research found the average business professional uses 9.4 apps at work. IT workers use the most, with 10.4 apps, on average.
Half of survey respondents said they spend a significant portion of their time on email, checking it five times an hour. Reports in Fortune noted email is a common target of workplace apps, from the Slack messaging service to Microsoft Teams.
Nearly half of professionals told Harmon.ie they are using apps not specifically sanctioned by their company's IT departments, the report also found. That includes Dropbox and WhatsApp.
While it's difficult to calculate how much time professionals are wasting by going back and forth between apps, researchers found approximately 40 percent of surveyed respondents said it took more than five minutes to find an early draft of a project. Analysts said could suggest professionals struggle to access the data they need as it is spread out across so many apps.
According to one expert, though, a platform that combines multiple apps into a single portal may not help boost productivity or increase access to data.
“While people say they would prefer to have all of their applications in one window, they may not realize that could lead to even more information overload than switching between applications,” warned Alan Lepofsky, principal analyst with Constellation Research, in an interview with Fortune. “It's not the single window that is the magic, it's the context and the ability to filter and focus on the right information at the right time that leads to improvements.”