We know that Information Overload costs knowledge workers around one day a week, but few people understand where this figure is coming from, how it was measured, and what the underlying time-waste mechanisms are.
It is widely acknowledged that many professionals suffer from “e-mail overload.” This article presents findings from in-depth fieldwork that examined this phenomenon, uncovering six key challenges of taskmanagement in e-mail. (more…)
This paper identifies 3 main streams of research that have been undertaken in regards to email:
1. Email as a Filing Cabinet
2. Email as a Production Line
3. Email as a Communication Genre
It then propose a model that could potentially unify the areas (or at least establish an ontology for the categories) and suggests where research should go in order to make further progress.
Unnecessary interruptions cost U.S. businesses $588 billion per year according to research conducted Basex. Such interruptions come from many sources, including instant messaging, spam e-mail, telephone calls, and the Web.
“The Cost of Not Paying Attention: How Interruptions Impact Knowledge Worker Productivity” is the first in-depth look at a problem that results in 28 billion lost man-hours per annum in the United States. Technology promised to make workers more efficient, but it has the potential to cost companies billions unnecessarily. Basex surveyed over 1000 executives and knowledge workers to find out how interruptions impact their work and what they do to counter the impact of unnecessary interruptions.
Managers need to recognize that 28 percent of each knowledge or information worker’s day may be wasted due to unnecessary interruptions such as instant messaging, spam e-mail, telephone calls and the Web. Nothing has been more disruptive or costly to business, but there are many things that companies can do to minimize the costs. This includes training knowledge workers to prioritize work at hand, providing them with the discretion to turn off technology or separate themselves from technology to do work.
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Information demand is a problem for all those involved in research but seems especially threatening to interdisciplinary research. Teamwork supplies the remedy, but most research in the social sciences and humanities is done by scholars working alone. That fact limits the scope for interdisciplinary work. In this article, we examine several ways in which actual and potential overload affects research choices for the solo researcher, paying special attention to the creation of ad hoc interdisciplinary specialties. As a matter of policy, should solo interdisciplinary work be encouraged? A strong social preference for interdisciplinary might discourage solo practice as just another example of the huge disparity between individual and collective capacities.
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. (more…)
This checklist is for those who are concerned with the ever increasing amount of information they are required to handle and describes a structured approach to controlling information overload.
In a climate of uncertainty where it is difficult to distinguish a real opportunity from a red herring, there are twin problems in restricting the amount of information to a level that is manageable, and in extracting any gems from the mass available. Too much information causes anxiety, stress and inefficiency; insufficient information leads to ineffective decision making, management by guesswork, even stagnation and decline. Controlling information flow requires a highly disciplined and consistent approach to the processes of selection and evaluation.
There is a widespread view held by health clinicians that their work effectiveness is impaired by ‘information overload.’ Building upon a previous work by Wilson, a review of the literature was undertaken to look for the evidence of this. It was found that the literature, particularly in the context of the clinical environment, was limited. (more…)
Recent developments in the information and communication technology have made it possible to provide managers with large amounts of information. Although information technology has been instrumental in improving the access and flow of information, it has also been instrumental in creating an overload of this same information for businesses and organizations.
Consequently, the problem of information overload and ways to manage it have been the focus of a great number of studies in the MIS literature. A large body of the studies that examine the effects of information overload view decision makers as rational actors who process information inputs into decision outputs and whose performance is constrained by their cognitive structure.
Recent psychological investigations have shown that affective states such as positive mood can regularly and significantly influence and enhance one’s cognitive structure and flexibility. In the light of these psychological studies, it is reasonable to believe that mood may influence the effects of information overload. That is, it is reasonable to expect that the performance of the people in positive mood will be better than their control counterparts under the conditions of information overload. Thus, this study intends to extend prior work on information overload by establishing mood as an important variable in the existing models.
Have you ever wondered what information-related issue creates the most anxiety amongst middle managers? The fact that information overload would be near the top of the list might surprise you. In advance of 2008, Basex, a knowledge economy research and advisory firm, named information overload as the expected ‘problem-of-the-year’. They estimated that over the course of 2008, an estimated $650bn would be lost in the United States due to reduced productivity and throttled innovation. Additionally, their research concluded that as much as eight hours of worker productivity per week would be lost because of this phenomenon.