Resisting Collaboration Overload
October 7, 2021
There are many benefits to working from home, but one downside has been what Harvard Business Review refers to as collaboration overload and there are two main culprits.

The culprits:

1. the inefficient cognitive switching costs that come from “always-on” culture and

2. the personal motivations that lead people to jump into collaborative work unnecessarily.

If you find yourself in either category, here are some things to consider.

Reduce the Inefficiencies of “Always-On” Culture

It can take up to 64-seconds to get back on track when interrupted with something as simple as a text message. The recovery time can be even longer if the interruption is more significant. Frequently interrupted people experience higher workloads and stress levels as they exert more effort to complete their tasks. To combat that consider blocking out reflective work time, designating specific times to respond to emails and explaining any other changes you want to implement to your team to generate group buy-in and increase cooperation.

Assess Why You Offer To Collaborate

Research shows that about 50% of the time, the main reason for overload happens in the micro-moments we offer to help - even when we know we shouldn’t. Our triggers for offering are either the desire to be seen as a helpful team player or the desire for control. Both reasons can be limited by identifying our triggers and developing a mantra to recite in the moment to help us refrain from offering assistance. A couple of sample mantras include: “Saying yes means saying no” and asking, “Am I the only one uniquely qualified to address this issue?”

Identifying which culprit is hindering you will lead to a more productive workday.



/*video overlay play button*/