Overloaded with technology, overwhelmed at work!

We live in an overwhelmed world with more than what we can handle. Being way too busy has become a way of life; be it due to the excess amount of work we have taken upon us or the way technology is being thrown at us. Such an overdose of work and technology has also led to the creation of a new kind of employee, which is the ‘overwhelmed employee’. In a research study conducted on Global Human Capital Trends, 65-75 per cent of the organisations surveyed identified with this issue. With mobile phones, email, text messages, global teams, conference calls, social media, and even watches talking to us, there is so much stuff coming at us. We are constantly flooded and can’t get our work done. Does this ring a bell?
According to this study , it is noted that information overload and the 247 work environment are overwhelming workers, hence, undermining productivity and contributing to low employee engagement. It was noted that, more than half (57 per cent) of interruptions at work resulted from either social-media tools or switching among disparate standalone applications. Also, according to the Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers’ 2013 Internet Trends report, the typical user checks hisher phone approximately 150 times every day . Phone checking instils a sense of an inner reward from scoring a personal, newsworthy or gossipy email or social-media notification. However, this type of smartphone preoccupation is an ‘addictive’ behaviour it’s not only a time waster, it also is a direct contributor to feeling overwhelmed.’overwhelmed’ is a blanket term for employees who are typically disengaged, under productive and cynical. “More often than not, these are employees who are easily the best performers, but are on the verge of getting burnt out. In a digitally connected world as ours, employees tend to feel burdened with the sheer amount of information that they are tasked to handle. As a result, it feels like a lot of work is on the plate and employees tend to get stressed out. A simple way of identifying an overwhelmed employee is, reduced productivity , average or poor quality of work, missed deadlines, absenteeism, lower levels of engagement and overall dissatisfaction.

Talking about what actually creates an overwhelmed employee. The overwhelmed employee’s calendar is full. His/her desk is also often overflowing with paper and products. He she could often miss deadlines and be late for meetings. To be fair, he/she is often the employee who doesn’t know how to say ‘no’. Other attributes could be poor time management, uncooperative colleagues, lack of skills which could increase his/her efficiency or personal problems of some sort.technology

This is a critical issue and a coping mechanism for the same becomes a necessity .

Companies need a purposeful approach to help employees identify and manage the triggers that lead to the feeling of being overwhelmed. The need of the hour is to simplify the work environment, create more flexible work standards, and teach workers how to prioritize.

Workplace distraction is usually inevitable. One way to curb this is by setting clear goals, priorities and deadlines to monitor progress. While managers must avoid micromanaging, they must also keep constant open communication with their employees to ensure that the goals are met and that they are available for their team members when teams need their support. On an individual level, it would help if people organize or structure their day into a standard routine. This may seem impossible, considering how much ad-hoc work we face each day , but planning and an organised process helps in prioritising work despite distraction. Last, but not the least, is team work. Team goals and cohesiveness help in delivering best results; it is the team’s positive aura that can keep all distractions at bay and help you achieve the desired results.

With a cluttered desk and an even more cluttered mind, you too can be classified as an ‘overwhelmed employee’. So, take note before it takes you over!

So, declutter your mind and do away with unnecessary technology at work, as this is the way to step out of the zone of an overwhelmed employee.

 Source: TOI 18 Nov’2015