Email And Information Consume 61 Percent Of Workers' Time

by Nancy Needhima on Aug 1 2012 3:15 PM

Email And Information Consume 61 Percent Of Workers
61 percent if office workers’ time is used for handling emails, retrieving information and to collaborate. Merely 39 percent in reality perform tasks, reveals a new study.
According to the report, average staff of an office spends 28 hours a week - or nearly 1500 hours a year - on writing emails, searching for information and attempting to "collaborate" internally.

They feel their working hours slipping by as the time left to do "real work" stretches beyond the official 9 to 5.

A new global report by McKinsey Global Institute, the research arm of management consultancy McKinsey and Company, argues that wide adoption of social media technologies by businesses could cut down some of the time-wasting involved in emailing and improve worker productivity by as much as 20 to 25 percent.

According to "The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technology" report, which uses IDC data, 28 percent time of the workers is spend, reading, writing or responding to email, and another 19 percent for tracking down information to complete their tasks.

Communicating and collaborating internally accounts for another 14 percent of the average working week, with only 39 percent of the time left to accomplish role-specific tasks.

It also says that social enterprises could help reduce communication costs, improve worker access to knowledge and to internal experts, lower travel costs, increase employee satisfaction, reduce operational costs and, even increase revenue by 10 percent on average.

Social media technologies include software products and services that allow people to connect more efficiently than through email.

This includes internal tweets - also known as microblogging -, blogs, posting information and documents to a feed, "liking" and "sharing" other people's posts, video and audio files.

It is similar to Facebook and already-existing social tools for enterprises such as Chatter, by, and Yammer, now owned by Microsoft.

Other social and Web2.0 tools such as wikis and shared online work spaces were also included as potential productivity improvers, although some of these have now been abandoned in preference for newer better Twitter-like tools.

The report, however, says that increased productivity cannot be achieved "simply by installing social software". The tools need to be accompanied by management change and commitment.

Dr Gavin Schwarz, Associate Professor at the Australian School of Business, School of Management, UNSW agrees.

"Just because it's a more contemporary form of communication it doesn't change that people still need to be ready and have the right mindset for it," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Dr Schwarz as saying.

"There's an assumption that because people are tweeting socially, [the habit] will automatically transfer to work. Not necessarily. It comes down to this idea that people have to be made more ready for change, regardless of what it is," he added.

Dr Schwarz said that businesses have also to pay attention to possible generational differences when attempting to integrate social tools at work.