Single-tasking is best

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 1 November 2011

Citation

(2011), "Single-tasking is best", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 60 No. 8. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijppm.2011.07960haa.005

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Single-tasking is best

Article Type: News From: International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Volume 60, Issue 8

There is growing evidence that multitasking may be hurting productivity. With the ubiquity of mobile devices and other communications technology, many workers are expected to multitask, with some employees taking pride in their perceived ability to switch between complex tasks. But all this multitasking is putting workers, as well as their employers, at risk, experts say.

“It’s unequivocally the case that workers who are doing multiple things at one time are doing them poorly,” said Clifford Nass, director of the Communication Between Humans and Interactive Media Lab at Stanford University.

“The human brain just really isn’t built to switch rapidly from one task to another. Workers who constantly multitask are hurting their ability to get work done, even when they are not multitasking. People become much more distracted, can’t manage their memory very well.”

Companies that demand multitasking may be damaging productivity.