An animation of a man drowning in a sea of information, surrounded by paper aeroplanes and envelopes.
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How to ease information overload for tech workers

1 Feb 2022

Working in tech can sometimes lead to an overload of information. Slack’s Stuart Templeton examines how automation can help tackle this.

It’s a fantastic time to be working in tech.

Venture capital investment in Irish tech companies reached record highs in 2021, creating a huge number of jobs. On a broader scale, the European tech scene had its own record-breaking year.

Future Human

Of course, this astonishing rocket-growth doesn’t come without challenges. Software developers are recruitment gold dust with tech talent shortages all around the world. Coupled with the ‘great resignation’ trend, as employees reassess what they want from work, businesses need to stand out and create a great employee experience to attract top tech talent.

Click here to check out the top sci-tech employers hiring right now.

Tackling information overload

To create a great business, managers need to have their fingers on the pulse when it comes to the evolving world of work. This is only more crucial in the world of tech, with software development in particular setting trends in how work is changing.

Tech roles are highly complex. They require iterative and collaborative problem-solving between multiple departments, are often distributed with teams working in many locations, and require a particularly high degree of openness and transparency between individuals.

Increasingly, this is the shape work is taking for all knowledge workers, but due to the demands of development, tech professionals are a step or two ahead on the path.

These agile and fast-paced approaches to work mean that information overload is a frequent challenge for tech workers. Juggling all of the moving parts, departments, tools and more involved in a single software release can quickly become overwhelming.

And, without the right tools, it’s inevitable that balls will be dropped. The kind of collaboration that great software development needs can’t happen through slow and siloed emails and meetings. Likewise, the move away from the physical office to digital headquarters raises new considerations when it comes to keeping teams aligned.

Offering employees the choice to work remotely or in the office, Auto Trader UK is one business that recognised ensuring everyone stayed connected would be a new challenge in the hybrid world of work. To overcome this, during the pandemic the organisation accelerated its use of channel-based messaging to keep employees connected without requiring more meetings, which can drain productivity.

Embracing automation 

While software teams have always been at the forefront of automation, historically that innovation has been a resource-intensive process. Businesses should be focused on reducing the friction of automation for their tech teams. Driving out manual processes that slow developers down shouldn’t be a chore in itself.

That’s because today automation isn’t limited to robots in factories or a handful of plucky developers. It’s a tool almost every tech worker can use to make life simpler and more productive.

Choosing tools that prioritise app integrations and offer low-or-no-code ways to build custom automations can enable organisations to empower every member of the team to build workflows suited to them.

In short, embracing automation today is about providing developers with tools that allow them to do what they do best – designing, documenting and improving, whether that’s for a specific software release or the work processes themselves.

Building a developer-ready digital HQ 

There’s no sign that demand for tech workers will slow in the months and years ahead. Digital transformation has accelerated in the wake of the pandemic while booming investment means roles in areas like software development will remain highly prized.

For businesses, that is only fuelling a need to refine the experience of technology teams by addressing challenges like information overload and providing tools that streamline work.

And, in an age of cross-functional work, with tech teams the established trendsetters, businesses that invest in those experiences can expect the benefits to quickly ripple out, transforming the wider organisation for the better.

By Stuart Templeton

Stuart Templeton is the head of UK at Slack.

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