How many solutions is your HR department currently working with? In this post, Personio’s Head of Brand and Comms, Laura Schroder, details the importance of the right amount of solutions in a human-centric workforce. How long is a micro delay, really? Read this article to find out!
We depend on technology, a lot. We use it to do almost every element of our ‘technical’ work, as well as the ‘human’ work like hosting meetings, attending conferences, or even having a quick coffee break. In many ways, we now rely on technology to do almost everything.
And, as it relates to the future of work, there is no better time than the present to think about how these solutions may be holding back a human-centric workforce. Let’s dive into how online fatigue and attention fragmentation may be causing problems for your organization.
Online Fatigue Is Real
Some days, it feels like we start Zoom and never shut it down. Between morning updates, coffee breaks, presentations, and even after-work socializing, we are now more online than ever, and we are really feeling it.
The fact is that online fatigue is real, and it can be detrimental to your workforce. For this reason, a great starting point to fighting fatigue includes the following:
- Planning fewer meetings overall.
- Building in short breaks between meetings.
- Facilitating opt-in wellness programs for staff.
- Designing processes to maximize flow.
This is all good advice. In this article, though, I want to hone in on that last point. How can we design processes to maximize flow? In my opinion, we can’t have a conversation around flow without first thinking about fragmentation.
What Is Attention Fragmentation?
The idea behind attention fragmentation is that being interrupted, even a tiny interruption (which we’ll explore a bit more later), creates a cluster of distractions that takes your attention and splits it into multiple pieces. It takes time to get back into the flow.
In an environment where there is little to no separation between our work life and online life, our attention is not only more valuable but more under threat. We need time to focus on our work, but at the same time, there have never been more interruptions.
It matters because your attention is everything. It’s how you focus your time to be productive, and a loss of attention bears both a psychological and a business cost. It all starts with what I’d like to call ‘micro delays.’
What Is A Micro Delay?
Think of it this way: you’re at your computer, hard at work on something, and a notification pops up on your screen. You need to provide feedback on an important presentation.
Next, you get an email that you have a performance review you need to complete. Then, your phone buzzes or you need to review a handful of vacation requests.
You have all of these distractions that pull you away from your work, coming at you from all angles. Each one represents a micro delay, and although they seem small they have a cumulative effect across the business.
In fact, did you know that each micro delay can be quantified? One micro delay is worth approximately 20 minutes of time (considering not only the time it takes but the time it takes away from other tasks).
So, all of a sudden, 3 micro delays turn into one hour of lost work. With 12 micro delays, your whole morning is a wash. While each delay may be small individually, they are anything but when you start to add them up.
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