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The digital workplace puts more pressure on employees to attend to multiple tasks at the same time. Research shows that this can be counterproductive because employees are more error prone. Switching between tasks can lead to 20 minutes of lost time for each switch. The solution is focus. Managers have to create a culture where employees do not feel pressure to respond immediately to e-mails, texts, and cell phone calls.


  1. We typically think about control at the managerial or organizational level. How does controlling relate to the present article? Should individuals be concerned about control? Why or why not?
  2. Elaborate on the type(s) of control represented in the article.
  3. Now let’s consider the impact these demands (e.g., increasing workloads, multi-tasking) place on workers. What type of stress does this represent? What are the potential implications?

SOURCE: R. Pulfer, “Multi-Tasking: Tuning Out the Noise,” Canadian Business (Retrievable online at

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