We're all moving on from talking about whether remote working will last—it's now more common than not for professionals to work at least one day a week from home. In fact, we're now seeing 'WFH' more commonly become 'WFA'—' work from anywhere. Technology enables and offers digital tools to manage information sharing and better working methods, but only if used effectively. If not, we're in danger of creating information overload and making it even harder to work together.
In the report 'How Can the Digital Workplace Drive More Visibility Into How Work Gets Done?', Gartner explains:
"The explosion in conversations and in the production of digital content may actually contribute to information overload, making it more difficult to keep track of what needs to be done. Technology for meetings and conversations has improved some aspects of work visibility, but it has also created new challenges."
Consequences of information overload
Managing information overload comes back to company culture, processes, and systems. While the tools may be available, without the structure and support to ensure they're used effectively, employees can find themselves overwhelmed, which takes a mental and emotional strain that can lead to burnout.
When we have too much information, we become unproductive, lack focus, and struggle to make decisions. We also don't take a big-picture view and focus on our teams and silos.
Another fundamental issue is finding information. We know it exists, but across teams, we all have ways of working and storing files, documents, and plans using various tools.
Work management can help break through the noise
Work management makes sense of information and reduces the overload with everything available in one collaborative space.
- Connect tools—rather than switching tools throughout the day, bring your favourite tools together. For example, connect your email and chat accounts to centralise all your communications and reduce interruptions. Add documents, links, and files directly to projects to make information easy to find and share.
- Files and documents in one place—work on one shared version of files to reduce multiple iterations and make it easier to review, comment, and share feedback in real-time without leaving your work management platform.
- Choose how you view your information—display your project plans on a board, Gantt, timeline, and customisable layouts to suit your work. Visualise your workload by task, project, or objective depending on your preference. See deadlines and dependencies quickly and clearly. It also makes gathering information to share or provide a report easier than manually pulling from multiple locations.
- Automate—routine and manual tasks are time-intensive. Use a work management solution to trigger notifications to make it easier to share information with others.
- Control with permissions—in some cases, making information freely available is the best way to reduce frustration and increase productivity. In others, containing data for particular groups or individuals makes sense, a key feature of work management solutions.
"Irrespective of which route is taken to get there, the aim should be to provide different teams with flexible spaces that capture and make visible the content, structure, process, and conversations around their work activity. The role of digital workplace leaders here is crucial, primarily in expanding the capabilities of digital workplace programs to include such tools and in boosting digital dexterity to enable business users to take advantage of them."
Learn more about how work management can help better manage information sharing in your organisation and talk to our expert team about how to get started.
Gartner, Quick Answer: How Can the Digital Workplace Drive More Visibility Into How Work Gets Done?, Nikos Drakos, Joe Mariano, 6 October 2022.
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