Why Collaboration Kills Productivity?

Why Collaboration Kills Productivity?Creative work needs periods of time when you can concentrate to work without interruptions.

We live in work culture where interruptions are too well accepted.

Since collaboration is the selected and highly accepted way to work today. It is ok to interrupt. It is socially even required that you are always available for interruptions.

Companies are building open space offices where noise and interruptions are everywhere.

Collaboration is good, but if you are constantly in collaboration mode it will eat your and your organizations productivity.

It is ok to be unreachable. It should not be your responsibility to fight whole day against interruptions except your own internal ones of course.

I have always talked for fast and instant communication for getting things done and I am still for it, but I have recently seen the light. Collaboration can kill your productivity. Almost completely.

Interruptions make you stressed like hell. You have your own stuff to take care of. Your day is at best helping others and worst just listening all the nonsense others are offering to you. Your own tasks and projects won’t proceed.

It is miracle that I am able to finish anything at the office! .. and when I do it is certain that I am not doing it with full focus!


I recently did keep log of the external interruptions I had during one day. I had average 18 interruptions, not caused by me, during 8 hours. It means I was interrupted every 25 minutes.

Different studies suggest that recovering to full focus of the primary tasks takes from 11 minutes to 20 minutes. If I don’t count time that I did spend for interruptions I did spent least 198 minutes to recovering from the interruptions!  (Some of the interruptions happened already in the middle of that 11-20 minutes recovery time)

It is miracle that I am able to finish anything at the office! .. and when I do it is certain that I am not doing it with full focus!

Some of the productivity methods are built only to protect you from the interruptions like – Pomodoro Method.

Most remote workers are extremely happy to work from home and the number one reason is the time without interruptions. Most remote workers feel that they are more effective while they are working from home office.

So what is the solution?

Obviously you need the collaboration. You cannot be the expert on all areas. Even ideas need other ideas to breed and grow.

The solution is to agree in organization how the day is divided. The solution is to separate collaboration and work.

First part of the day can be reserved for collaboration and later part could be for work.

All teams can have their meetings in the morning. If you need support from your colleagues you can ask for help during the first part of the day. The last part of the day is reserved to work only without interruptions.

If the agreement is done on a company level it will reduce the need to fight individually against interruptions. Employers will have more space to focus to their work.

Productive organization is builded on top of people who are productive and who have tools to focus.

What do you think?  Tell your views below in comments!

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