April 14, 2023

How to fight against information overload in companies?



5 min reading

Concrete solutions to fight against infobesity in companies.

What is information overload?

Infobesity, information overload, information pollution, digital overload, information fatigue, hyperconnection, hyperconnectivity, "technostress", cognitive saturation syndrome, or digital burn-out: there is no shortage of terms to describe the information overload that many people suffer from, particularly in the workplace. But what exactly are we talking about and what are the risks linked to this phenomenon?

Information overload: definition

The term "informationoverload" was theorized by the American sociologist Bertram Myron Gross in the book "The Managing of Organizations: the Administrative Struggle Offsite Link"in 1964.

As the doctors in management sciences Henri Isaac, Eric Campoy and Michel Kalika point out in an article published in "Management&Avenir" in 2007, information overload corresponds to the state in which a subject finds himself when he is exposed to such a large volume of information and communications that it exceeds his cognitive capacities.

In a professional context, information overload is largely explained by digitalhyperconnection, i.e. the omnipresence and excessive use of digital solutions such as email, social networks, instant messaging, SMS, phone calls, video conferencing or notifications from various collaborative work applications.

Information overload in numbers

According to the Lecko and Cog'x study mentioned in the introduction of this article,hyperconnection, characterized by attending meetings and sending emails frequently outside working hours, concerns 10% of French employees.

This figure could be even higher, since, as revealed by a survey commissioned by OpenText and conducted by 3Gem in 2022, 40% of French workers believe that poor information management is detrimental to their mental well-being at work. And for good reason, digital overload is not neutral for employees...

Information overload : how to get rid of it ?

What are the risks of hyperconnection at work?

Overconnection andinfobesity in the enterprise pose several risks to employees and the organization itself.

A danger to the physical and mental health of employees

The first danger of information overload and hyperconnectivity at work is a deterioration of the physical and mental health of employees. An unreasonable use of digital technologies can indeed blur the border between professional and private life, harm employees' sleep and of course plunge them into a more or less advanced state of stress.

According to a study by Speak & Act and Dynamic Workplace, in 2021, 47% of employees surveyed said they were unable to balance their work and personal lives, 49% said they frequently checked their e-mail before going to sleep and 73% said they worked every weekend. As a result, according to the same source, 60% of working people said they were often stressed for work-related reasons.

A decrease in individual productivity and collective performance

The second risk associated with information overload in companies is that of a decrease in individual productivity and, consequently, in collective performance.

Over-solicitation and constant interruptions have a negative impact on employees' concentration, their ability to make decisions, their creativity and even the quality of their social relationships. As a result, according to Cyril Couffe, PhD in cognitive psychology,hyperconnection at work reduces productivity by 28%.

A legal risk for the employer

Finally, as the specialized journalist Aurélie Tachot reminds us in Le Figaro, the employer who does not guarantee the right to disconnect as provided for by the Labor Code and allows a situation of digital overload to persist, which harms the physical and mental health of its workforce, is exposed to legal sanctions.

As we can see, the risks associated with infobesity in companies and the resulting hyperconnection are significant. So, what solutions can be mobilized to fight against the digital overload of employees?

The Digital Workplace: a solution against employee infobesity and hyperconnection

The Digital Workplace is an effective solution to fight againstinfobesity and employeehyperconnection . As we will see, this all-in-one digital tool allows to manage the surplus of information to which employees are exposed and can be used to support a transformation of the corporate culture.

🔗 To go further, read our article to understand everything about the Digital Workplace: history and definition

An efficient solution to centralize and prioritize information

The Digital Workplace is a platform that centralizes the various tools employees need to work. Thanks to this digital workspace, employees can quickly and easily access their business software, collaborative work applications (e.g. Teams) and internal communication tools (e.g. the Viva Engage corporate social network).

🔔 To go further, here'sthe guide to communicating effectively internally | Tips (mozzaik365.com)

With the Digital Workplace, employees navigate from one tool to another without friction and save valuable time. But that's not all. This advanced intranet also helps to combat mental overload by centralizing and prioritizing information and requests addressed to employees.

The secret? The Digital Workplace allows you to use different communication tools depending on the intent and type of content being shared. For example:

  • The Chat of a Teams channel to talk with your team about a project in progress;
  • The personalized "news wall" of each user to receive targeted information related to the life of the company;
  • Each employee's "social media wall" to follow the organization's activity on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or even Instagram ;
  • A "community Viva Engage (ex-Yammer) to exchange with colleagues about a common interest and create a link;
  • etc.
✅ To go further, find out how to turn employees into ambassadors with the social media wall

A customizable digital work environment

Another strength of the Digital Workplace in the fight against digital overload is that this digital work environment is customizable not only at the corporate level, but also at the level of each individual user.

A platform of this type allows each employee to be provided with the digital tools and services they need, and only with those tools. This way, employees are less exposed to information pollution and the risk of cognitive overload.

Better yet, a modern Digital Workplace such as Mozzaik365 allows employers to offer each of their employees a personal Dashboard. This customizable dashboard is a precious ally in the fight against information overload and technostress since it gathers in one place and visually organizes the resources and tools that the employee needs to work in good conditions.

💡To go further, discover how the personal Dashboard is the ally of your Digital Workplace

A lever for transforming the corporate culture

To curbinfobesity andhyperconnection in the workplace, it is essential to implement a digital culture that promotes disconnection. In this perspective, the organization must adopt rules to control the use of digital tools: forbidding sending e-mails to colleagues or to schedule meetings outside office hours for example.

The Digital Workplace can be a lever in the implementation of these measures. A tool such as the Microsoft Viva employee experience platform can, for example, be used to plan times for concentration (or "focus") without notifications or distractions, punctuated by regular breaks allowing employees to "recharge their batteries".

🚀 To go further, find out more about Microsoft Viva, the employee experience platform.

However, support for change is still necessary to escape the culture of urgency and control, transform behaviors and teach employees to make good use of digital tools. Workshops to raise awareness of information overload and training in the use of technological solutions may therefore be essential to ensure that the right to disconnect is respected.

As we can see, the Digital Workplace is a strong ally in the fight against information overload and hyperconnectivity in companies. In this battle, the Mozzaik365 Digital Workplace is at the forefront since it includes various features particularly adapted to reduce digital overload .

🛡️ To go further, here are the 10 mistakes to avoid making in your Digital Workplace in 2023

What Mozzaik365 features should be included to reduce information overload at work?

The Mozzaik365 Digital Workplace offers various solutions to cope with infobesity and hyperconnection. In particular :

Advanced search to easily find internal information

According to the OpenText study mentioned above, 47% of employees say they spend an hour or more every day searching for information and documents on their company networks. Of those, 13% say they spend 2 to 3 hours a day, and 10% say they spend more than 3 hours.

The Mozzaik365 Digital Workplace 's "advanced search" feature addresses this issue. With its filters, customizable search verticals and suggestions, employees can quickly find a document or page in their Microsoft 365 environment. This way, employees no longer feel drowned in the mass of information at their disposal.

💫 To go further, find out how Mozzaik365 is reinventing the advanced search experience
How to fight against information overload ?

Electronic document management (EDM) quick access to files

Mozzaik365's "EDM " feature allows to set up an efficient and coherent document management system. With this tool, validated, stored, indexed and updated internal documents can be quickly retrieved and used by employees.

In doing so, electronic document management avoids the accumulation of a surplus of information and reduces the mental burden on employees since they are assured of direct access to the right version of the file they are interested in.

🏆 To go further, discover the Knowledge Management strategy guide

The personalized news wall to share the right information with the right people

The news wall is one of the essential features of a good corporate intranet. This module allows you to group together in one place all the information that you consider useful for your employees (external communications, blog articles, publications on social networks, upcoming events, favorite applications, etc.).

Better yet, the news wall allows you to target the populations that will receive the information you want to highlight (invitation to an event, internal news, etc.). This way, employees are not exposed to content that does not concern them, which prevents information overload.

The icing on the cake is that thanks to the "my feeds" feature, each user can subscribe to the themes he or she likes and have the associated content displayed on his or her news wall. In this way, information is prioritized and filtered, and workers escape infobesity!

👉 To go further, discover the main features of Mozzaik365

Shortcuts to access your favorite applications in one click

Finally, among the features to integrate into your Mozzaik365 Digital Workplace to reduce digital overload is of course the "my apps" component. This allows users to highlight their favorite applications on their news wall or personal dashboard for instant access.

But that's not all. The administrator can also select the quick links available to different employee populations. This way, employees know immediately which tool to use and are not overwhelmed by the number of available software. Again, a good way to avoid cognitive saturation!

How to fight information overload in the workplace: what you need to remember

Information overload is a phenomenon of cognitive saturation that occurs when an individual is exposed to an excessive volume of communications and information.Hyperconnection, i.e. the excessive use of digital tools and the incessant solicitations that result from it, aggravates this problem, particularly in the professional context.

Decreased individual and collective productivity, deterioration of the physical and mental health of workers and even legal risk for the organization:infobesity and overconnection have deleterious consequences for both employees and their employers. It is therefore essential for the latter to adopt solutions to curb information pollution and digital overload .

The Digital Workplace is one of the most effective of these solutions. A SAAS solution such as Mozzaik365 creates a streamlined digital work environment where selected tools and resources are centralized and organized to precisely meet the needs of each employee without overwhelming them with information and applications.

Looking for a solution to combat hyperconnection and information overload in your organization? Discover the Mozzaik365 Digital Workplace by talking to an expert.

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