The 2008 National Workplace Productivity Survey, released by LexisNexis, reveals that information overload causes reduced worker productivity and sometimes even wastes employee time.
The 650 survey respondents were all white collar and knowledge professionals, consisting of 250 individuals from the legal profession and 450 working in various non-legal professions. The survey revealed that white collar professionals spend an average of 2.3 hours every day conducting online research, but they also spend time using books and documents as additional information sources. Most respondents confessed that if the amount of information they have increases in the future, they will be close to their breaking point and will not be able to handle any more. They report having inadequate information management tools to cope with their information overload and they sometimes find themselves at a loss for what to do with the information they obtain. In short, the surveyed workers are increasingly overloaded with the amount of information they need to perform their jobs.
85 per cent of those surveyed feel that not getting the right information at the right time is a huge time-waster, and 40 per cent said that they would be unable to adequately handle an increased flow of information. The amount of time needed to organize available information, and the need to spend time sifting through irrelevant information, were also reported as big time-wasters. Possible solutions include providing workers with information management technology and/or training on effective information management. Another solution is to bring in outside consultants to analyze and improve a company's information management systems.
Source: LexisNexis (2008 National Workplace Productivity Survey)