New research from Microsoft has found that over half of the UK’s office workers are suffering from overconsumption of information, which is having an impact on their productivity and health.
Defying Digital Distraction found that 55% of the office workers polled felt they often experienced information overload, while 43% of them felt stressed as a result and a third were overwhelmed (34%).
Describing this trend as ‘infobesity’, Dave Coplin, chief envisioning officer at Microsoft UK, said that organisations need to change the way they view technology and use emerging modern technologies, tools and best practices that help to gain insight from big data. Coplin said that organisations should start by understanding the limitations of the machines and algorithms that can provide the context and facilitate meaningful insights from big data.
The survey also found that 52% of the respondents checked their mobile device for work e-mails within 15 minutes of going to bed and 58% thought about work as soon as they woke in the morning. However, 49% did not find being constantly connected to information particularly motivating, while 35% admitted to proactively looking for online distractions to break up the monotony of the working day.
“Succumbing to the digital distractions of our lives and failing to harness the transformative power of technology are simply beginner’s mistakes,” said Coplin in a blog post about the survey. “Here is where we go wrong: we use technology to speed up the old ways of working; instead we should use technology to transform work and fundamentally reimagine how we use information. The good news is that I can see signs everywhere that we are beginning to turn things around. Technologies and tools – and best practices – are emerging that help us make good use of the data deluge – and turn it into a big data goldmine instead.”
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