9 Levels of Office Worker Hell
Sometimes even an obviously self-serving study by a corporation can be helpful. The e-book “The 9 Levels of Enterprise Work Hell” fits into this category. The Utah company behind this e-book, AtTask, sells work management tools for business teams, and much of the advice contained in the book involves getting the right work management tools for business teams.
Yet the e-book is cleverly designed and written, with lots of spooky graphics and gothic images and typeface. The data was derived from 1,000 survey responses, so it’s not a bad sample, either. And, most of all, AtTask has found a fun way to deliver serious information about those things that irritate people most.
1. Tool hell
The average person uses 13 different tools or methods to manage their day, Nielson said. That’s way too many, and leads to workers spending more time trying to remember how to use existing tools, learn how to use new ones and get the old and new ones to work together, rather than actually using them to do important work.
2. Rework hell
Workers spend 14% of their day duplicating information and forwarding emails and phone calls. A quarter to 40% of project budgets are wasted as a result of rework, Nielson said.
3. Fire drill hell
In this level of chaos and insanity, fires are bursting out all over the place (oftentimes strategically set by those who use a fire to cover their lack of productivity). No one has a chance to stand back and consider how the work should be done or what the outcomes of the work should be.
4. Silo hell
More than half of workers say departmentally “siloed” information is their top challenge in managing data, Nielson said. People often create their own silos intentionally. Everyone is using different systems and solutions, no one is smoothly sharing information, and transparency is nil. Teams don’t talk and don’t work together.
5. Reporting hell
Old data isn’t very useful except for comparison’s sake. But how often does your data need to be updated? When is data out of date, and when is an update not really very useful?
6. Meeting hell
At the enterprise level, all meetings cannot be eliminated. But, Nielson said, an awful lot of them can be, thus freeing you and your workers from “the prison of the working dead.”
7. Interruption hell
Nielson says about 50% of the average worker’s day is consumed by interruptions, of which 80% have no value. These can range from someone dropping by a workstation with a quick request, to emails with random and unapproved work requests, to text messages, instant messages and sticky notes that mysteriously appear stuck on a computer screen during a worker’s break.
8. Email hell
This one, Nielson said, gets hellish really fast, but can be remedied fairly easily.
9. Collaboration hell
What kills collaboration is one-on-one communication between two team members that leaves everyone else out. Or everyone not on the system collaboration platform, or never collaborating in the same physical place.
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