Why More Is Less

Unfortunately, even in the face of the mounting scientific and anecdotal evidence (not to mention individual blood pressure and stress levels) that multitasking doesn’t work, companies cling to it like shipwrecked survivors to flotsam. They believe that asking employees to multitask saves them money and time when chances are good that it will do neither. This unintelligent intransigence is all the more troubling because most of us intuitively recognize the problems multitasking can pose. We cringe at the thought of someone operating a lathe while scanning the crawl on CNN or a teenager talking on a cell phone while driving. True, none of us are going to lose a digit or rear-end a minivan because we’re typing, listening to voice mail and reading instant messages simultaneously. But as Greenberg says, when one’s attention is divided, something’s got to give. Companies that see multitasking as part of the solution to their staffing issues are actually making their problems worse and are not, finally, doing more with less. They are doing less with less.

Why More Is Less – Reality Bytes – CIO Magazine Sep 15,2003

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