Reducing Information Pollution
Information Overload: We Have Met The Enemy And He Is Us
Information Overload: We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us, a 26-page report, looks at strategies companies can use to cope with information overload, including ten tips designed to ease the burden immediately.
End-user case studies in the report include Intel (including an interview with Nathan Zeldes of Intel, who is in charge of the company’s fight against Information Overload), Morgan Stanley, and Citrix. The now well-known January 2007 information overload summit, which included executives from Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Google, Morgan Stanley, as well as eminent academicians, is also discussed.
Information is the new currency of our society yet workers are drowning in information. A typical worker gets 200 e-mails, dozens of instant messages, multiple phone calls (office phone and mobile phone), and several text messages, not to mention the vast amount of content that he/she has to contend with. “It’s not unlike the game of Tetris, where the goal is to keep the blocks from piling up. You barely align one and another is ready to take its place” says the report.
Information overload has become a significant problem for companies of all sizes, with some large organizations losing billions of dollars each year in lower productivity and hampered innovation. Interruptions alone cost companies in the U.S. $650 billion per year.
Most managers and companies have failed to realize how these numbers add up to impact their bottom line. It’s not just a case of too much e-mail, too many interruptions, too many projects, and too much content. It’s all these things clashing — sometimes like an orchestra without a conductor.
As a member of IORG, you are entitled to a single-user license for this report.
To download the report, click here: InformationOverload.BasexReport
A year ago, Basex announced that Information Overload would be the 2008 “Problem-of-the-Year.” Now that we know that Information Overload costs the U.S. economy a minimum of $900 billion per year, it appears that it will be 2009’s problem as well.
Whether sitting at a desk in the office, in a conference room, in one’s home office, or at a client, the likelihood of being able to complete a task (what many call “work”) without interruption is nil. Content creation has gone off the charts and new forms of content are being pushed towards us at an ever increasing pace. It’s not just e-mail, junk mail, text messages, phone calls, and monthly reports anymore.
Information Overload causes markedly lower productivity, diminished comprehension levels, compromised concentration levels, and less innovation. According to a recent Basex survey, it also causes health problems: 35% of knowledge workers experience work-related back and/or neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, eye strain, headaches, or stress related symptoms.
One reason the problem continues unchecked is that few people seem to recognize its cost to their organization. Last month, to help companies understand the extent of their financial exposure, we released a free, Web-based Information Overload Calculator. The calculator allows you to calculate the impact of the problem on your own organization.
So far, thousands of people, in industries ranging from advertising to zoology, have calculated their exposure. If you haven’t yet calculated your exposure, please fasten your seatbelt and do it now. You’ll be glad you did.