With Video and Organizational Apps, Productivity Stayed High During the Pandemic

9 min read
Article by Erika Kramarik
Full-Stack Marketer

Key takeaways:

  • 70% of respondents stopped using travel booking apps in 2020
  • 56.7% of respondents stopped using ride-sharing apps, opting to walk to their destination instead
  • Media/news apps saw a decrease in usage during the pandemic
  • 89% of respondents said that they use apps like Zoom or Google Meet almost daily
  • Even as people worked from home, productivity levels stayed the same as pre-pandemic
  • 78.6% of survey participants said they installed new apps due to work-related reasons

 

It’s safe to say by now that smartphones have become an essential part of our daily lives, with dozens of apps helping us travel, shop online, organize, socialize, stay healthy, and so on. Most of these apps help us improve our lifestyle, however, there are a handful of mobile applications that can also cause harm if used in excess – for example, social media apps.

As the pandemic slowly set in during early 2020, so did new trends when it comes to mobile app usage. As travel booking and ride-sharing app usage declined, video conferencing, online shopping and online chat application usage increased dramatically. This new climate also forced many people to embrace technology even more, to stay in contact with loved ones, be able to work from home, and attend events or meetings.

Curious on how the pandemic affected mobile app usage for tech workers, we recently ran a survey to see which applications were most used during this time, and what apps were forgotten or used less frequently. 

Some respondents even admitted that they weren’t heavy app users before COVID-19 – mobile app development is our bread and butter, so you can imagine our surprise. However, this pandemic pretty much forced them to adapt to this new climate, in order to be able to continue to work and even attend online events that were previously held offline. 

Keep reading to find out what else our survey revealed. 

70% of respondents stopped using travel booking apps in 2020

We started our survey by asking the recipients what kind of apps they have stopped using on a regular basis during the pandemic. If we were to go back in time to January 2020, and run a survey to see which apps people think they might stop using, nobody would have even thought about mentioning apps like Booking, Uber, or Airbnb. But things can change a lot over the past year.

With the pandemic in place, 70% of respondents said they stopped using travel booking apps (e.g. WizzAir, TripAdvisor) altogether this year, Travelling dropped significantly this year, and under normal conditions, it would be downright shocking that these apps see little to no activity all year long. Usage of hospitality apps and real estate apps also dropped, according to our respondents. 42.2% said they stopped using hospitality apps (e.g. AirBnB, Booking.com), and 25.6% stopped using real estate apps. With lockdowns in place, very few people turned to real estate apps and even fewer planned on moving this year.

56.7% of respondents stopped using ride-sharing apps, opting to walk to their destination instead

56.7% of respondents stopped using ride-sharing apps this year. Specific apps that most of our respondents told us they stopped using include Uber and Bolt. Other apps they also stopped using include FreeNow, GetPony, BlaBlaClar and Waze. The most common reason provided by the respondents for not using these apps is, of course, the pandemic. By working from home, you have no need to catch a ride and go to the office, and due to travel restrictions, you have no reason to open up a travel or booking app. Many respondents said that even if they have to get out of the house, they now prefer walking instead of taking public transport or using a ride-sharing app to get to their destination – anything to avoid the coronavirus.

Media apps saw a decrease in usage during the pandemic

Interestingly, many of our respondents mentioned that they stopped using media and news apps this year (e.g. New York Times, or Feedly as an aggregator), as well as several social media outlets (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). This indicates that the huge influx of coronavirus news, speculation, and even conspiracy theories that have been floating around the internet have had a negative impact, and some people chose to stay away from the news altogether. Our respondents said that they would rather do something productive or creative instead of scrolling social media or news apps, and this was more beneficial to their mental health. It makes sense, too: flooding your mind with bad news can put you in a constant state of stress and anxiety, and that’s the last thing people wanted to do while stuck at home.

A small percentage of participants also reported they stopped using fitness apps for a while, especially during the spring lockdown. Many people tend to lose the motivation to work out when they can’t go to the gym, or lack the proper space to exercise, so this is easily understandable.

89% of respondents said that they use apps like Zoom or Google Meet almost daily

Obviously, usage of apps like Zoom, Google Meet, and Skype have surged this year, as many of us were to our homes, and the only way to socialize, attend school and organize work meetings was through meeting apps. We asked our recipients what kind of work-related apps they have been using on a regular basis since the start of the pandemic.

88.9% of respondents use video conferencing apps almost daily, while 76.7% use online chat apps on a regular basis. Furthermore, 47.8% of the survey recipients stated that they use project management and organizational apps frequently, and 23.3% said they use work automation apps to ease their workload.

When asked to name some specific apps that they’ve started using for work during the pandemic, most of them mentioned apps like Zoom, Google Meets, Skype and Microsoft Teams. Other apps mentioned frequently by our respondents were Jira, Slack, RocketChat, Asana, Trello, and Atlassian. 

A few recipients mentioned that they’d already been using some of these apps before the pandemic, but that they started using them a lot more in 2020. Almost every one of our respondents said they started using these apps to help them continue to work efficiently from home, maintain communication and collaboration with colleagues, participate in conferences, and organize and optimize the workday.

Even as people worked from home, productivity levels stayed the same as pre-pandemic

We asked survey participants to rate how these new apps have impacted productivity for their business during the pandemic. On a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 representing productivity decrease and 5 productivity increase, most respondents picked 3. In fact, the average productivity rating based on the survey results is 3.6. Based on this rating, it’s safe to say that productivity hasn’t decreased while working from home, which might come as a pleasant surprise to those who didn’t think remote work was as effective as in-office. 

 

Even with reports of rising anxiety, depression and loneliness across the world, 47% of respondents said that productivity levels stayed the same, and welcomed the work-from-home lifestyle. Furthermore, 35% said that productivity increased, and only 4.4% said it has decreased. This goes to show that even if disasters hit, and people get confined to their homes, productivity levels will not be necessarily affected, and as long as we have a proper workstation and the right motivation, we’re good to go. 

As soon as the pandemic ends, many companies and businesses are likely to reconsider their approach when it comes to working from home, and see the positive impacts of this work style. Change is already underway; companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft already announced they would allow their employees to work remotely, indefinitely. 

78.6% of survey participants said they installed new apps due to work-related reasons

We ended our survey by asking participants who or what convinced them to start using these apps once the pandemic set in, and if they would continue using them once things go back to normal. 78.6% of survey participants said that they installed apps like Zoom and Skype due to work-related reasons, while 20% said they chose to use these apps due to personal reasons.

 

55.6% of respondents said they might keep using these apps once the pandemic crisis settles, 37.8% said they will definitely keep using them, and only 3% said they will stop using these services and will uninstall the apps.

Conclusion – mobile apps can come to our rescue during times of crisis

The results of our survey tell us that mobile apps are extremely beneficial to both the work environment and our personal lives, and they’re not just meaningless distractions. What’s more, mobile apps can help us navigate times of crisis, and help us respond and adapt quickly to unforeseen circumstances. Think about what it would be like to go through this pandemic without mobile apps or online tools. It’s pretty scary, isn’t it?

Many of our survey respondents said that they will continue to use these apps after the pandemic, and that shows just how useful mobile apps can be, helping us maintain contact with friends and colleagues, organize tasks, and stay productive. The perception towards mobile apps and devices has certainly switched, and even those who were skeptical about all these gadgets and tools have come to see the positive impact they can have. 

Methodology

This survey was created using typeform.com, and included both open-ended questions and multiple-choice questions. 

90% of the survey recipients work from home, most of them using Apple or Windows devices. When it comes to their mobile devices, 54.4% are iOS users and 44.4% Android.

Erika Kramarik Full-Stack Marketer

Erika is a full-stack marketer passionate about the intersection between technology and social impact. She mixes research with content design and a human touch to help people and startups succeed in delivering value through their work. When not writing or talking to people, you’ll find her reading or quoting Hamilton for any life situation.