Current email and phone practices reduce productivity: new study

A new survey of 1500 UK business people has shown that poor email and phone habits damage productivity rather than increase it.


Thanks to Paul Sweeney of voicesage for pointing me to a new study (May 2006) carried out by ntl:Telewest Business

The study reveals that the two major time wasters are:

2-way communications

Not being able to act because people have not replied and therefore also having to spend time chasing them.

This resonates with the bioteams principle of only using 2-way communications where it is absolutely necessary for this very reason.

For more on the problems and alternatives to 2-way communications see Rule #1 in The Bioteams Manifesto .

Non-business acivities

Using email and the web for non-business activities such as emailing friends, following sport online, arranging your social life and shopping.

This is more interesting – perhaps its not really a problem as people may work longer hours and at home to compensate.

However it could also be that the current command and control style in most organizations leaves people waiting for orders and with time on their hands.

For an alternative to command and control see Rules #2 and # 3 in The Bioteams Manifesto .

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Organisational teams: thin slice for responsiveness

 Organisational teams: thin slice for responsiveness

Humans and animals do not need complete information to act; they can operate on various clues provided there is a sufficient context. Organizational teams can also use this thin slicing technique in conjunction with short messaging to enhance their performance. Malcolm Gladwell’s introspective book Blink digs deep into the abyss of human cognition to illustrate the human ability to think at a subconscious level. The idea of thin slicing is used where one is introduced to only a few snippets of information which lead to a series of conclusions based on moments of rapid cognition – an ability claimed to be intrinsically dormant in most humans. By bioteams guest author Max Bhanabhai.

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