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Jaclyn Margolis Writes About Collaboration Overload for Psychology Today

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Collaboration and teamwork have long been core tenants of any functional workplace. Effectively working together often leads to better performance and happier employees. However, with the advent of collaboration software such as Slack and Zoom, employees might be spending too much time collaborating. 

In an article written for Psychology Today, Jaclyn Margolis, Pepperdine Graziadio associate professor of applied behavioral science, explains how employees are getting overwhelmed with collaboration, leading to increased stress and decreased productivity. According to research cited by Margolis, collaboration has increased more than 50 percent over the last decade, with “employees spending approximately 34 hours in a standard 40-hour work week working together (responding to emails, monitoring a Slack Channel, participating in a Zoom meeting).”

To avoid the dark side of collaboration, Margolis recommends these three strategies:

  1. Balance Collaboration with Solo Time: “Working with others tends to be the most effective when it is balanced with some focused alone time. For some people, this may be blocking out 30 minutes on their calendar every morning. For others, it may be lobbying your manager for one meeting-free day a week.”
  2. Set Boundaries For Yourself and Others: “There has been a proliferation of advice columns encouraging people to draw boundaries for themselves to help with this challenge, through strategies such as removing email from the phone or only responding to collaborators’ requests during certain hours.”
  3. Make the Most of Collaboration Time: “While it is important to figure out the optimal amount and cadence of collaboration, it is equally important to get the most out of the time you spend working with others.”

Read the full article at Psychology Today. 


Article Highlights

  • Collaboration overload is impacting productivity in the workplace
  • Learning to set boundaries can help ease stress and increase output