IMS CEO breakfast with Prime Minister Xavier Bettel; Credit: IMS

IMS Luxembourg (Inspiring More Sustainability), the Grand Duchy's leading network on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), held several meetings on the topic of information overload and its consequences this week.

During a breakfast on Tuesday 19 November 2019 at the BCEE, IMS invited the directors of its member companies to meet Caroline Sauvajol-Rialland, Professor at Science Po Paris and author of "Infobésité: understanding and mastering the informational surge". In the presence of the Prime Minister and Minister of Digitalisation Xavier Bettel, some 30 CEOs were able to discuss with the expert the increase of the volume of information, the speed of circulation and the risks of digital overheating that this phenomenon involves for everyone, as well as ways to guard against it.

The following day, during the Lunch'n'learn "My email, my friend, professional communication at the time of digitalisation" held at Arendt House, IMS presented its barometer relating to professional information flow and communications at work. Between June and August 2019, IMS in collaboration with LISER conducted an online survey and screened digital habits and analysed their effects on the well-being of employees. These first Luxembourg figures on the issue were collected thanks to the involvement of 107 IMS network member organisations and responses from 1,372 of their employees.

The barometer revealed that 32% of respondents read their work emails once a week or more on their way to work. This habit has been found to increase the risks of feeling stress by 34% and to decrease the expression of satisfaction for the time available for one's private life by 50%. In addition, respondents received an average of 61 emails per day and 66% of respondents admitted to checking their mailbox as soon as a new message is reported (more than one interruption every eight minutes).

The barometer also found that 36% of respondents miss important information or messages at least once a month, increasing their risk of stress by 39% and decreasing their life satisfaction potential by 26%. IMS suggested adopting a classification adapted to the neurological functioning or modifying its management of emails as possible solutions to test.

Nevertheless, the analysis of the barometer showed that the digital tools (software and software) made available to employees do not have an intrinsic impact on the well-being of employees; rather it was the use and the infobes that influence the stress and the satisfaction of individuals.

In addition to the numerical results, around 30 participants were introduced to first tips for using digital tools, including emails for greater collective efficiency and individual peace of mind at work.

Finally, the IMS announced a follow-up for the 2020 Flow Savvy project. Funded by the European Social Fund and in collaboration with the Ministry of State, Digital Luxembourg, the Ministry of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, the Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Employees, IMS will be offering neuroscience-based training to its members (one for employees, another for managers) aimed at remaining effective in a hyperconnected world.

During the year 2020, member companies will also be offered the chance to run pilot projects within their organisation and test systems and recommendations to limit the flow of information and improve the well-being of employees in their company.