Managing Infobesity: 5 Tips for Employees
Who is responsible for solving problems like infobesity? Is it a job for the internal communications team, or maybe all employees play a role? Do we need a top-down approach or maybe a more vertical one?
From employees’ perspective
People are expected to absorb and handle big quantities of data, constantly. Every day we are exposed to a stream of global news updates, technology developments or political issues. Whether we realize it or not, our decisions are affected by various aspects, in the same way, that our day-to-day choices are influenced by targeted advertisements. Information comes from various sources like social media, TV, the Internet and its influence reach beyond our personal sphere. The way we’re exposed to information on a daily basis is also reflected in our workplace
- At Home – 90% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes.
- At Work – 85% of work e-mails are opened within two minutes
- But are those good habits? – It takes 24 minutes to get back on task after opening an email
The habits we create in everyday communication and in collecting information are transferred at work too. Combined with the high digitalization levels in the workplace, they cause the acceleration of information overload factors.
Employees managing infobesity: Tips and Tricks
Employees play an important role in the fight against information overload. Thus it’s necessary to raise awareness on the ways employees can manage infobesity while performing day-to-day work tasks.
Here are 5 tips for more efficient and productive work:
1. Limit research time
The abundance of information can be addictive. Employees should allocate a limited time period for information gathering. This reduces the unproductive time zone they fall into when following a couple of “related” links.
2. Choose priority tasks
The human brain has its limits! It’s advisable to choose from 3 to 5 daily tasks, and only work on those during the day. Employees can use a to-do list, yet they can go a bit further and divide tasks into shorter daily lists, which will keep the focus longer and help avoid information overload.
We all do it. But the question is: can we do it better? Employees often switch between tasks, because they feel stuck. But each distraction or the start of a new task has its price. It is recommended to group similar daily tasks in slots next to each other. This allows to transfer relevant information from one task to another and will reduce concentration time. It will also reduce the cognitive load that occurs when the human brain collects new information.
The above 2 tips are particularly useful when it comes to meetings. Scheduling too many meetings in a day can affect the ability to stay focused. Define a daily slot for meetings and organize similar work meetings next to each other to keep employees away from burnout.
Emails are not the only interruptions at work. We get distracted by all types of phones, communities, social media or other notifications. Employees should adjust the notification settings on all work-related tools. Disabling alerts during meetings, work slots and even on breaks will help to better concentrate on the task at hand.
Following the above advice, employees will be able to control their workflow and escape the overload caused by unlimited information and access to resources.
Key takeaways: Managing infobesity in the workplace can improve the overall performance and productivity of employees. Individuals should be cautious with their usage of and their exposure to data. The corporate intranet provides organizations with essential tools to structure and optimize information.