Office screens spell overload

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The Independent Online
THE ELECTRONIC revolution could lead to a reduction in productivity, managers were warned yesterday.

More than 75 per cent of all communications were now conducted electronically, creating a number of problems in the workplace, according to Anderson Consulting and Investors in People.

The report, "Nil by Mouth", said that many staff were now experiencing information overload as they were targeted by huge volumes of unnecessary, poorly written, unfocused, ineffective messages.

With a reduction in face-to-face contact, those that were not using technology could find that they were "disenfranchised" and that they had lost their voice in the development of the organisation. The report claimed that employer expectations were increasing as the technology did not sleep and employees could be contacted 24 hours a day.

Sir Brian Wolfson, chairman of Investors in People, called on managers to manage the "beast in the machine" and recognise the impact technology was having. "If you take human interaction away you can reduce people's effectiveness and enjoyment," he said.

nInternet users sending pictures of their children to friends could be labelled suspected paedophiles. The Association of Chief Police Officers is aiming to intercept private e-mails without a warrant. Civil liberties groups say this would breach privacy under the European Convention on Human Rights.

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