Frictionless Ediscovery: Reducing Context Switching in Your Workflow

| January 25 2023

Let’s face it, if litigation is imminent and you’re preparing for the discovery process, friction has already taken place between opposing parties. But that’s not what I mean when I’m talking about “frictionless ediscovery.” 

Instead, I’m looking at the friction created by context switching. If you haven’t heard of it, I know you’ve experienced it. So let’s take a deeper look.

What is Context Switching?

Context switching is when we jump between different tasks, apps, or projects. We receive notices on a communication platform, then bounce over to project management software, all while trying to listen in on a video meeting. We have dozens of browser tabs open, and it feels like we’re multitasking, constantly moving from one thing to another, but this actually doesn’t leave much productive time and space for deep work, which cuts into productivity and increases burnout. We feel exhausted and yet still have things to do.

What are the Effects of Context Switching?

We can certainly feel the anecdotal effects of context switching, but what is the real impact? According to a joint report by Qatalog and Cornell University’s Idea Lab:

  • On average, people take nine and a half minutes to get back into a productive workflow after switching between digital apps.
  • 45% of people say context-switching makes them less productive.
  • 43% of people say switching between tasks causes fatigue.

How Can We Reduce Context Switching in Ediscovery?

Legal teams have their own types of context-switching issues, mainly having to do with opening specific ediscovery tools in order to carry out basic, top-of-mind tasks like securely creating matters, initiating legal holds, adding custodians, and triggering collections.

More and more, the center of people’s working lives is focused on collaboration platforms. So what if there was a way to do these things directly from there instead of having to switch to another platform? Now there is.

According to Dave Ruel, Head of Product at Hanzo, “Slack's Digital HQ philosophy encourages more work to be contained and performed within Slack to facilitate greater productivity. So I began thinking, ‘How can we empower enterprise legal teams to improve their workflows by enabling them to manage ediscovery processes in Slack where they were already working.’” 

This led to the development of Hanzo’s Illuminate Command Center for Slack. Ruel continues, “This is the first dedicated Slack application that allows users to create a legal hold matter, place custodians on hold using native in-place preservation for Google and Slack, and trigger a collection of data when required. Users also have the ability to report on their matters, custodians, and channel lists without ever leaving Slack, whether it’s on a laptop or a mobile device. There’s also a guided workflow from matter creation to collection, making the entire process easier to navigate and perform.”


The development of such ediscovery applications that cut down on context switching and reduce time spent on tasks by more than half is definitely on the innovation horizon. As workforces remain remote and flexible, the ability to carry out ediscovery securely from wherever work is being done, while reducing the causes of burnout, is an important addition to any toolkit.

Learn more about the only Slack app that is "Mission Control for Enterprise Ediscovery."

Hanzo Command Center

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