The Myth of Multi-Tasking

20 December 2023
Female Employee with Multiple Hands - Banner Image for The Myth of Multi-Tasking Blog

Multi-tasking is not as good as you might think.

We’re not exactly sure when this all began, but multi-tasking in the workplace became a fad. Many employees have worn this as a badge of honor, and the feeling of busyness has been interpreted as productivity. This illusion continues and many still believe that sifting through hundreds of emails while answering calls, filling out forms, checking the news while eating a burrito is productive. Multi-tasking perpetuates task switching and ultimately there is a cost.

Switch Cost = Real Cost

Day to day, employees are kept busy shifting from email to phone to important tasks that require focus and concentration. Lump in personal phone calls & emails, side conversations, TikTok and social media, etc.; seconds and minutes begin to add up. One study indicates the brief mental blocks created during task-switching can cost as much as 40% of someone’s productive time [1].

Multitasking and Mandated Programs

Increasing minimum wage, Affordable Care Act, taxes etc., has a negative effect on quality and productivity. As businesses are forced to make decisions to reduce hours, downsize, or cannot hire, the work doesn’t just stop. Existing employees become overburdened, tasked with dissimilar duties and as they drudge through the piled up work, they are forced to multitask. The more they multitask, the more switch cost occurs. Quality and satisfaction of work lessens, additional pressure is placed on employees, missteps increase and customer satisfaction declines… it’s not a pretty sight. Opportunities and customers are lost during this process.

Staff-sourcing as a solution

Switching between phones, email and other necessary tasks are unlikely to be entirely eliminated; however, they can certainly be reduced. One client of ours discovered that there were application-processing procedures that could be delegated to Staff Boom employees instead of being managed by customer-facing employees. Customer service, sales and the accuracy/quality of application processing all improved. In the U.S., employees are prone to becoming distracted by social media, text messaging, socializing and more. At Staff Boom, the employees are not accustomed to the same behaviors, which enables them to execute processes and tasks efficiently without all the switch cost.

Specialize in ways you couldn’t before

What would happen if you could have documents processed while you sleep to be ready for your employees to act on when they arrive in the morning? Perhaps a faster turn-around on auditing, reports and services might just be what your business needs to take things to the next level. When you have more flexibility over workflow, new opportunities become available that push the revenue needle forward. One of our clients implemented a 3 hour guarantee for delivery of services. Without Staff Boom, they would have had to hire two, or three employees at $15/hour who would essentially wait and remain available for processing orders to meet this guarantee. Now they have Staff Boom employees who manage this process. It makes for a more efficient workflow and it’s a fraction of the cost.

Every operation is unique which is why consulting is key. We’d love to begin discussing how you can increase revenue while saving 50-70% in employee expenses. Contact us today!

Kelly Wade

Business Development Manager

Kelly Wade is a Business Development Manager at Staff Boom. With a bachelor’s degree in business from Azusa Pacific University and a cosmetology license, Kelly brings a unique blend of expertise to her role. Since joining in 2018, Kelly has played a vital role in the company’s growth by bringing in new clients and fostering strong, lasting relationships with them. She takes great pride in her ability to find innovative solutions that truly benefit customers, and her genuine care for people shines through in every interaction. While she decided to leave her cosmetology practice behind to pursue a career in sales, she still finds joy in occasionally using her hair styling skills on a smaller scale.

Outside of work, Kelly embraces her role as a proud wife and mother. Her daughter keeps her busy with a wide range of activities, and Kelly strives to balance her professional and personal life to ensure quality time with her family. As a passionate sports fan, particularly when it comes to football (Go Saints!), she knows how to bring that same enthusiasm and dedication to her work and personal interests.

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