Collaboration is crucial in the workplace, but too much can lead to overload. Recent data reveals that managers and employees spend 50% more time in collaborative activities than they did two decades ago. Despite this, only 3% to 5% of employees are responsible for 20% to 35% of the value-added collaborations. Over-collaboration can lead to burnout and decreased productivity.

Organisations can manage collaborative demands by mapping the volume and type of collaboration. This helps identify employees who are overburdened and those who are underused. Companies can also reward effective collaborators, not just top performers.

Creating a culture that celebrates both individual and collective achievements is key. This includes recognising ‘hidden’ collaborators who contribute in less visible ways. Organisations can also use digital solutions to reduce unnecessary collaboration. Technology can streamline communication, limit interruptions, and make collaborative work more efficient.

Lastly, leaders should model collaborative behaviour. By setting boundaries and respecting their own time, they can demonstrate healthy collaboration habits. This approach can help organisations avoid collaborative overload and enhance productivity.

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