Infobesity or information anxiety are other terms for information overload. It's a difficult concept to grasp, but it's worth pondering since it calls into question the effectiveness of decision-making, particularly in the workplace.
It appears that any information we require is always only a click away. We receive a plethora of emails and notifications from coworkers, managers, and the media. While this is typically a good thing, there are occasions when we receive more information than our brains can handle. We cannot do anything about it, and it is purely biological. We lose attention and can get overwhelmed when the brain fails to process information.
Infobesity in the workplace affects all industries. Organizations undergoing digital transformation should think about how it will influence their personnel. We have access to a wealth of information in a digital workplace. Employees and employers frequently make mistakes in these situations. Instead of reinventing how to enhance working circumstances, they employ technology to speed up existing ways of working. These activities frequently lead to infobesity in businesses.
Have you ever been so overwhelmed that you couldn't make even the most basic decision? Because of developments such as the internet, apps, and sensors, infobesity affects every firm. Did you know that the average entrepreneur checks his email between 50 and 100 times every day? Furthermore, 60% of computer users feel the desire to check their email when in the restroom. Unfortunately, the majority of executives are still in denial. Time and energy are being squandered by the minute! Infobesity can cause following problems:
How can you solve it? Although no one can escape the realities of modern life, we may begin by becoming more self-aware, conscious, and accepting some responsibility. After all, we didn't get here without everyone's help, did we?
Dealing with the infobesity problem necessitates taking a step back from the daily deluge of data. It necessitates rethinking how an organization runs and what kind of information it truly needs.
Employees are facing a new challenge in the workplace known as "infobesity," or information overload. Furthermore, ingesting too much information can impair our capacity to make sound decisions. This is especially true in the workplace, where individuals are frequently expected to make many decisions every day, some of which are critical to the survival of the organization. Because the consequences of these actions can influence the entire workforce, it's clear to see why there has been an increase in companies striving to address this issue.
Companies are attempting to strike a balance between traditional methods of operation and contemporary technology in order to increase staff productivity. One developing trend is the use of a digital workplace and knowledge library to help better structure company information.
Numerous studies have indicated that information overload in the workplace has a negative impact on employees' well-being and health.
Due to the volume of information they are required to handle, almost 25% of workers suffered substantial stress and bad health.
Approximately 36% of managers reported bad health as a result of the amount of information they were expected to process at work.
Approximately 68 percent of those managers said that information overload had harmed their personal and professional connections.
So, what happens when an employee is overburdened with excessive and/or irrelevant knowledge at work?
Employees that are subjected to information overload are agitated, anxious, and may have difficulty sleeping at night. And the majority of them believe they have reached a point of burnout: Gallup discovered that 23% of employees are frequently or always burned out at work, while another 44% are occasionally burned out.
According to an interesting survey, employees receive approximately 115 emails every day and still miss out on one-third of the information provided over email.
Employees spend 2.5 hours per day looking for the information they need to execute their work. That means that employees spend one-third of their time on average seeking to find the information they need to execute their tasks. They search their Intranet and G-suite, call their colleagues for assistance, or rush to another department to seek the missing information in person. This method of operation is far from efficient!
The term "information overload" in the workplace refers to the large volume of irrelevant information that circulates among employees.
It's difficult to avoid information overload in today's digital world. Most businesses, from start-ups to huge corporations, are experiencing information overload. Furthermore, this trend is gaining traction in both employees' personal and professional lives.
Unsurprisingly, this type of circumstance has a cost: according to recent research by Basex, which specializes in technical challenges in the workplace, information overload costs the US economy at least $900 billion per year in lost employee productivity and less innovation.
There is always some misinformation concerning the sources of information. Essentially, the term "overload" refers to "too much of something." When you hear the phrase "information overload," you're usually referring to the deluge of data that employees face on a daily basis.
However, in today's fast-changing work environment, the amount of data individuals handle at work is not the only difficulty that most firms face. Indeed, irrelevant information exchanged with employees contributes to information overload.
Information overload has three effects on your business: your employees, your teams, and the organization as a whole. At the end of the day, information overload affects your employees' experience and the bottom line of your organization!
The objective is to generate only the data needed for key judgments. This information should reach the appropriate individuals at the right time, in a format tailored for optimum comprehension and simplicity of use. This type of decision-based strategy, similar to eating less and moving more, is a sure cure for infobesity. There are only four points that you need to consider:
Companies scan electronic warehouses for insights on customers, transactions, and products amid the current "big data" craze. Some manufacturers even utilize big data to assist front-line staff in making production decisions: if a screw at Raytheon's new Alabama missile plant is spun 13 times instead of 12, an error warning appears, and the production line stops. Big data frequently gives directors and managers extremely valuable information for making critical decisions. Tesco, a retailer, based in the United Kingdom, has developed a high-level statistical model that predicts customer behavior based on weather. Managers can use this data to modify stock levels.
Companies usually believe that decision-makers require all available information at the start of a decision process. For example, a pharmaceutical company accumulated reams of data about possible markets for medicine under development as soon as it began testing. The problem was that many medications never made it through critical stage gates, so the data-gathering effort was mainly in vain for them. When the organization moved information collecting to a later point in the process, it saved money and was able to supply decision-makers with only the data relevant to a specific decision.
Is all of the information you need to make decisions in the same format and easily accessible? To reconcile multiple customer databases as a result of mergers, one large wireless carrier had to invest in specialized software. It enabled the organization to cut data-query and preparation time by 90%. In the past, a large gaming corporation relied on each of its facilities to decide on client promotions and then analyzed the results. When that function was centralized and standardized, it revealed that patterns that appeared to be true for a single attribute did not hold up in the aggregate. Standardized information was not only less expensive to give, but it also resulted in better marketing judgments.
Companies generate data that no one requires and place it in reports that no one reads. One energy company's business unit used to report performance on 400 distinct line items. The corporation then implemented a "focused information sets" program, reducing the number of line items to 30 and lowering reporting costs. Because those 30 items represented the great majority of goods that actually add value, the change resulted in better business decisions while saving everyone's time.
Similarly, a huge retailer's marketing unit used to report massive amounts of data about each campaign, but that information rarely helped executives decide whether the campaign was a success. Today, every marketing brief outlines the few objectives that will be used to measure a campaign and give only the data that is relevant to those objectives.
It is easy to become overwhelmed by information overload. Fortunately, rather than compounding the situation, there are steps we can all take to address it.
So, before you add another email to a long thread or download a productivity tool, examine whether there is a better method to communicate and organize information. You may find that you have more time throughout the week to work on other business issues, allowing you to enjoy your time away from the office.