MANILA, Philippines - Do you find yourself having difficulty listening to your co-workers or even your boss? You're not alone.
New research from Accenture showed that while nearly all (96 percent) global professionals consider themselves to be good listeners, an even bigger majority (98 percent) spend part of their workday multitasking.
The research, #ListenLearnLead, which surveyed 3,600 professionals from 30 countries including the Philippines, showed almost two-thirds (64 percent) say that listening has become significantly more difficult in today’s digital workplace.
While 66 percent of respondents say multitasking enables them to accomplish more at work, more than a third (36 percent) say the many distractions prevent them from doing their best, resulting in a loss of focus, lower-quality work, and diminished team relationships.
What interrupts their workday the most? Respondents cited telephone calls (79 percent) and unscheduled meetings/visitors (72 percent), more than instant messaging (30 percent) and texting (28 percent).
The study also showed 8 in 10 (80 percent) respondents say they multitask on conference calls with work emails (66 percent), instant messaging (35 percent), personal emails (34 percent), social media (22 percent) and reading news and entertainment (21 percent).
Those who listen actively on calls typically either need something from the call or are required to lead, participate in or follow up on the discussion.
Pinoys multitask more
The Accenture research also showed almost eight out of 10 Filipino respondents (79 percent) spend half their day multitasking. This was higher than the global average of 56 percent.
It also noted that four in 10 Filipinos spend more than 75 percent of their day multitasking.
“Digital is changing everything, and new technologies will continue to present challenges and opportunities... As employees become increasingly hyper-connected, leading organizations will seize the opportunity to optimize the use of technology in the workplace, tapping its potential for employee engagement, collaboration and innovation," said Monina Cacayan, Managing Director in Accenture Operations and Inclusion & Diversity sponsor in the Philippines.
The research also found that the majority of respondents (58 percent) believe technology enables leaders to communicate with their teams easily.
However, accessibility is seen as both a help and a hindrance to effective leadership.
More than six in 10 women (62 percent) and more than five in 10 men (54 percent) view technology as "overextending" leaders by making them too accessible. Almost 7 out of 10 (68 percent) Filipinos who participated in the survey agreed with this.