Presentation on theme: "The Challenge of Managing Digital Information in the Workplace Gloria Mark Department of Informatics University of California, Irvine ISR Forum 2012 1."— Presentation transcript:
The Challenge of Managing Digital Information in the Workplace Gloria Mark Department of Informatics University of California, Irvine ISR Forum 2012 1
2 The nature of multitasking at work 2 High levels of multitasking in the workplace: Activity switches ~every 3 min. People work on an avg. of 12 different projects At the project level, switches every 10 ½ minutes People self-interrupt ~44% of the time It takes ~ 23 min. 15 sec. to resume an interrupted task
Multitasking and stress When interrupted, people experience significantly higher: Stress ** Mental workload * Frustration ** Time pressure * Effort ** *p<.05, **p<.001
5 Emails are a significant source of interruptions 5 How much attention does email demand? More email communication than F2F 70% of emails attended to within 6 seconds 45% reported loss of control in managing info People spend ~23 % time on email Email can be checked up to 36 times/hr.
10 Experimental design 10 Day Number12345678 Short Interview Sociometric Badge Short Survey Day Number12345678 NO EMAIL Interview Long Survey Shadowing Heart Rate Monitor Sociometric Badge Work Activity Log Office Sensors Short Survey Main Participants Colleagues
11 Data collected 11 13 participant groups, 52 total participants (including colleagues) 137 hours of ethnographic observation Logged over 25,000 window changes on participants computers Sensors recorded over 1.6 million sensor events Total of more than 700 hours of sensor data collection Heart rate monitors: Over 40,000 HR readings
12 Ethnographic shadowing 12 Activity Type Mean Duration (seconds) BaselineNo Email Out-of-Office412.321195.24 Computing tasks52.4750.32 Physical tasks41.0656.55 Communication84.8260.15 Email40.6536.94 Metawork21.4129.14 Other Tasks56.1231.33 Overall74.81102.85
13 Ethnographic shadowing 13 Activity Type Mean Duration (seconds) BaselineNo Email Out-of-Office412.321195.24 Computing tasks52.4750.32 Physical tasks41.0656.55 Communication84.8260.15 Email40.6536.94 Metawork21.4129.14 Other Tasks56.1231.33 Overall74.81102.85
16 Heart rate and stress 16 Heart rate variability (HRV) is widely used as an indicator of mental stress The lower the measure of HRV, the higher the amount of stress that an individual experiences Data obtained from only seven participants
17 Email and stress: HRV data 17 t(6) = -2.260, p =.065
18 Email and stress: HRV data 18 t(6) = -2.260, p =.065 Levenes test: F(1, 40409) = 33.40, p <.001
19 Effect on colleagues 19 For each participant, 2–7 closest team members were asked about stress, work, productivity, e.g.: It was easy for me to reach [XX] to get information I needed from [him/her] No significant difference between Baseline and No Email Trend for more agreement in Baseline than in No Email (p <.08) for this statement: I was able to get the information I needed to conduct my work today
20 Analysis of interview data 20 Lack of agency/loss of control More face-to-face time More task focus Feeling cut off
21 Lack of agency/loss of control 21 ~ 1/2 of informants described that they felt like they were not in control of their email When asked how they felt about working without email, nearly all informants described that their pace was more relaxed. I let the sound of the bell and the pop-ups rule my life. It ruled my lifethat made me feel depressed, and now I feel liberated [without email]…too much headache trying to keep on top of everything.
22 Email, communication, and workplace relationships 22 All informants reported that with email cut off, they interacted with people more, both face-to-face and by phone They viewed this change as a benefit Informants expressed that during the time of email cut off, they became aware that the use of email hindered their work relationships [Working without email] helps with one-on-one relationships
23 More focus 23 Nearly all informants: during the time that email was cut off, they were able to spend longer periods of time on a task and focus more intently on their work It gave me time to think about [work] more. I was able to spend time actually doing tasks that had to be done…. It was nice to be able to sit and work on a manuscript for the whole morning. When I didnt have email, multitasking, I had three projects done. I was more focused.
24 Feeling cut off 24 Biggest disadvantage expressed by informants when they did not have email was that they felt cut off. About half the informants described it as a general sense of isolation This feeling seemed to be grounded in a fear that they were potentially missing out on organizational information Yeshands downit isolates you as the one person whos not plugged in. The hardest thing was not being sure what I missed.
25 Recommendations 25 Email vacations Batching email Use of a pull-oriented channel Organization should consider the immaterial benefits of email reduction
26 Summary 26 By cutting off email, people could report from their actual experience When email is cut off for five days: Duration on task increases; Frequency of task switching decreases Stress reduces Face-to-face communication increases Not clear of its effect on productivity
The burden falls on the user to integrate their work that is fragmented over time and space! 27
28 Thanks 28 To our informants To the National Science Foundation award CNS-0937060 to the CRA for the Computing Innovation Fellows Project To the U.S. Army Natick R, D & E Center
In collaboration with… Steve Voida Armand Cardello Victor Gonzalez Norman Su Justin Harris Laura Dabbish 29
In the media BBC Radio interview. May 15, 2012. The New York Times. Taking e-mail vacations can reduce stress, study says. May 4, 2012. National Public Radio (NPR). Marketplace Tech Report. Broadcast May 4, 2012. The Atlantic. Study of the Day: Email Breaks at Work Reduce Stress, Improve Productivity. May 9, 2012. Huffington Post. Taking a break from work email could help curb stress: Study. May 7, 2012 U.S. News & World Report. An 'Email Vacation' Could Save Your Health. May 11, 2012. Los Angeles Times. You knew this: Work emails are bad for your health, study finds. May 3, 2012. The Atlantic. The Latest 'Ordinary Thing That Will Probably Kill You'? Email. May 4, 2012. ABC Radio Australia. No work email access = less stress, better focus. May 7, 2012. New York Daily News. Having a stressful moment? Turn off email. May 9, 2012. The Globe and Mail. Is it possible to check e-mail just twice a day? May 13, 2012. Seattle Times. Letting go of emails is good for you. May 4, 2012. 30
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