Oct 7, 2009

Ways information overload may be causing you harm

Increased stress, impaired cognition, information addiction...

Most of us already know from experience that the abundance of information we enjoy today comes at a price.

Less apparent is the tremendous hidden cost information owerload imposes on the organization as a whole. But, incidentally, you can calculate the costs involved in the individual management of e-mail.

The possible link between information overload and suicides among employees at France Telecom may be spurious.

Research indicates that information overload can have a negative effect on such activities as organizational decision making, innovation, and productivity.

Time lost to handling unnecessary e-mail and recovering from information interruptions cost Intel nearly $1 billion a year.

Surprisingly few companies even acknowledge the problem, much less make any attempt to do something about it.

Read interesting article by Paul Hemp, on Harvard Business Review Editors' Blog.

But organizations could save a lot of time and money facing internal spam messages, by training their workers to approach written communication dynamic integrally.

If professionals learn when e-mail is better than others communication channels, why, and how to use it in those cases, they can reduce many of the inefficient information flow present today at work.

Yes, I know that it's only part of the challenge. But the amount of productivity related on internal spam is significative. An this is one of the contributions I want to do with my book Email at the workplace.

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