Smartphones give employees information overload


Smartphones and social networking sites damage employees’ ability to network and function successfully at work and in conferences and meetings because they scramble the brain and lead to poor decisions, a business trainer claims in a new book. Jamie Smart, an international behavior expert, says the increasing problem of employees being welded to their smartphone, emails and social media websites leave many people exhausted through “information overload”.

It leaves them unable to concentrate on speakers and presentations and means they miss out on opportunities to meet contacts and network.

In his best-selling book Clarity, which topped the Business Book charts of both Amazon and WH Smith, he writes that many eight-year-olds think more clearly than business leaders and politicians. Facebook and Twitter clog the mind with a deluge of information, ranging from gossip to breaking news and smartphones – allowing constant access to emails – only exacerbate the problem.

“A saturated mind is the single biggest cause of stress, lack of confidence, bad decisions, strained relationships, fumbled goals and unrealized potential,” said Mr Smart. “People are paying the price as time-scarcity and information-saturation clogs the mental machinery they rely on. When your mind is clear you can focus, concentrate, solve problems and succeed. Leaders in every field, from visionary entrepreneurs to Olympic medal winners, agree that clarity is the key to outstanding success. Just look at small children. They can get desperately upset about something and then smell what’s for dinner and their head clears. They don’t hang on to stuff and look how super-innovative they are. The fact is that as adults we interfere with that self-cleansing system and that is when the problems arise. A survey of CEOs in the US asked them when they got their best ideas. The top answers were on holiday, in the shower and when driving to and from work. Their head cleared and they started coming up with great ideas. It is a natural function of our system.”