Continuing our theme of communications overload and continuous partial attention in matrix (and other) organization, one of my colleagues in the UK,  Phil Stockbridge, found an article in today’s Daily Mail on Email Time Bandits The research claims that people spend 4 hours per day on unnecessary emails, calls and gossip, that this costs UK industry alone some £140Bn and that 3/4 of the 1,000 respondents claimed continuous interruptions are causing them “stress” (unquantified).

One finding was that 39% of emails were sent to colleagues less than 100 yards away!

Its hard to know the accuracy of these kind of stats, if we added up all the stories about time wasted on meetings, emails, Internet surfing, breaks, smoking, gossip etc… (we seem to see these surveys each week) I am sure we would be spending more than 100% of our time not working – yet still we seem to get things done.

Having said that this kind of unnecessary work (our own research suggests it is is between 25 & 50% of all work) is a massive drain on individuals and organizations. It is potentially a win:win to get rid of these, as people don’t like doing unnecessary work -and organizations don’t need it doing.

Our view is that unnecessary work in matrix organizations is often caused by old fashioned people management techniques that were developed for much simper times and no longer work in today’s much more complex companies.

We are working with several clients in campaigns with a systematic process to save a day per week– by cutting out this unnecessary work. Check out our speed lead process or contact us to find out more.

  • Have you seen our matrix cartoon on lack of communication?
  • Have you tried any specific methods to cut out this unnecessary workload?

About the author:

Kevan Hall Kevan Hall is a CEO, author, speaker and trainer in matrix management, virtual teams and global working. He is the author of "Speed Lead - faster, simpler ways to manage people, projects and teams in complex companies, "Making the Matrix work - how matrix managers engage people and cut through complexity", and the "Life in a Matrix" podcasts, videos, cartoons and blog. He is CEO and founder of Global Integration. Company profile: .

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