Collaboration Overload Is Sinking Productivity

This article addresses one of my (many) failings…not learning to say “no”. The conclusions of this article are both startling and obvious – organizations need to help to protect people from themselves! By reducing “collaboration overload” and managing interactions, companies can help you to “just say no”.

Many people have had the experience of being asked to do something and knowing with every fiber of their being that they should say no, but in a nano-second convince themselves why they need to do this thing after all. They jump in and then wonder six weeks later why they never have time for work that interests them. Collaborative work — time spent on email, IM, phone, and video calls — has risen 50% or more over the past decade to consume 85% or more of most people’s work weeks, and the Covid-19 pandemic caused this figure to take another sharp upward tick. These invisible demands are hurting organizations’ efforts to become more agile and innovative. And they can lead to individual career derailment, burnout, and declines in physical and mental well-being. But there’s a lot that organizations can do to equip their employees to work more efficiently in this context, ultimately improving employee well-being, productivity, and retention.