Four Newsy Takeaways from Quickbase’s Gray Work Index

Written By: Matt Lieberson
April 26, 2024
3 min read

Quickbase’s 2024 version of our annual Gray Work Index surfaced great insights on how we work today. The crux of it? We’re spending more on ways to get more productive, but getting less from that spend. While nine out of 10 survey respondents report feeling overwhelmed to some degree about the tools they have to use on a daily basis, 66% of respondents are also seeing their organizations increase investment in more software tools. Hopefully, these findings will make clear how badly we all need a new way to work.

Don’t just take it from us: here are four takeaways from industry journalists and analysts on our Gray Work Index.

Gray Work is preventing us from getting more done

“According to a Quickbase survey, 54% of workers surveyed in the U.S. and U.K. say that it’s harder than ever to be productive in their day-to-day work. A main contributor to all this inefficiency is Gray Work—the outdated and spread-out tech and tools employees use just to get by. It causes the manual, repetitive and tedious tasks they’re stuck doing in between the work that actually drives results.”

The kind of work decreases satisfaction and morale

“With all of the productivity technologies that exist in the workplace today, why is it that more than half of the workers in a recent survey say they find it harder than ever to be productive at work? Could it be that technology, itself, is part of the problem? … At a time when workers are already at their wit’s end, whether from generational disconnects, the increased use of AI or return-to-work mandates, we should probably pay closer attention to anything that makes it harder for people to be productive.

Industries with physical and digital assets like manufacturing feel this harder than others

“Various teams had their favorite “shortcuts” for getting work done. Yet when it came time to roll up numbers, pull weekly or quarterly reports, or simply get a big picture view of what was happening across the business, those shortcuts and internal workarounds meant lots of hours spent rekeying information and cobbling it together from all those various tools.”

“Gray work is a growing issue in manufacturing that’s often overlooked, largely because businesses don’t realize it’s happening until it already has a strong grip on the company. For example, employees may know they’re working harder, but don’t know why their task list continues to grow.”

AI adoption is held up by trust in data

“As artificial intelligence grows in popularity, data confidence will become even more important. While the report found that 92% of respondents were curious on some level about AI-powered tools that could boost productivity and efficiency, only 10% of respondents claimed to be “extremely confident” in the accuracy of their key project information.”

Matt Lieberson
Written By: Matt Lieberson

Matt Lieberson is a Content Marketing Manager at Quickbase.