Learn more about psychology with this collection
How to manage digital distractions
The impact of technology on mental health
The importance of setting boundaries
From when we were young, we learned that helping others is a virtue. But when we entered the business world, we soon discovered that being a helper at the office comes at a cost.
High performers are often drawn away from their own work to help other employees and are asked to carry more weight. It's vital that organisations empower their workers to protect their time and sanity, so their desire to help doesn't cause more harm than good.
Collaborative work is the time we spend working with and helping others. This includes email, phone calls and video chats. According to McKinsey, collaboration activities consume 42% of a knowledge worker's time, leaving less time for uninterrupted deeper work.
As we spend time on collaborative work, the tasks that require our focused work take longer to complete, causing our workdays to extend into the evening hours. This increase the burnout risk, especially of the helpful.
We could blame Zoom and Slack for our difficulty finding time to focus, but the story is more complex. Studies show that 20% - 35% of value-added collaboration comes from 3% - 5% of employees.
Helpful employees build a reputation for being capable and willing and are continually drawn into collaborative efforts and requests, resulting in a lack of performance. Unfortunately, this teamwork often happens under the radar and go unrecognised by management.
Top performers know that saying "yes" to collaboration requests means saying "no" to other things.
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