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Information overload at work - dealing with high volumes of information conveyed by electronic media (e-mail, internet)

Project number: F 2373 Institution: Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) / Technische Universität Dresden Status: Ongoing Project Planned end: 2019-09-26


In the modern world of work the spectrum of tasks and work related demands change in many fields, i.e. task variety and complexity increase. An important role in this respect seems to play the dissemination of information and communication technologies.

Information can be distributed without much expenditure in short time to many recipients at the same time. Furthermore access to an infinite amount of information is possible. Accordingly, new information and communication technologies have on the one hand the advantage to enable a faster distribution of information and to facilitate the extraction of a fast amount of information but have on the other hand the disadvantage to produce information overload.
According literature review, there are only few empirical studies on the subject of "information overload" by electronic media. Up to now, the ergonomics have been dealing rather with lacks of information as a load factor at work.

Therefore, the aim of the project is to investigate forms/manifestations, and consequences of dealing with information overload at work in the context of field studies. The study commissioned by the BAuA is to be carried out in at least 5 plants from each at least 3 areas of service employment rather mental work. Such activities shall be examined in which the exchange of information takes place primarily through electronic media. As a result, work organization/corporate culture and individual opportunities for health-related dealing with information overload are worked out.


Unit 3.5 "Mental Workload"

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