productivity

The biggest productivity drains at work and how much they cost you

December 19, 2013
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fingers The biggest productivity drains at work and how much they cost you

Poor email management can cost $2,100 to $4,100 per employee annually

Just because you are sitting at work, does not mean you are getting work done. You are in a state of near constant distraction: constantly checking accumulated email, attending meetings, and dealing with co-workers. There are three main culprits that cause us to be distracted from work: meetings, email, and interruptions. Each one can cost time and money for the company.

bar The biggest productivity drains at work and how much they cost you
According to Atlassian, the average employee receives 304 business related emails weekly. It takes approximately sixteen minutes to refocus your attention after handling incoming email and the average employee checks their email thirty six times an hour.

This can result in as many as ten IQ points being lost (the same as missing an entire night’s sleep). What does this cost your company in terms of productivity? Per employee, spam costs $1250, unnecessary emails cost $1800, and poorly written communications can cost your company anywhere from $2100 to $4100.



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Meetings are the other productivity killer

The second culprit, meetings, can be detrimental to productivity. As many as one out of two meeting are considered a waste of time and on average employees attend, on average, sixty two meetings per month. That is a lot of time and money wasted, considering thirty one of those meetings were a waste of time.

On average, 31 hours per month are spent in unproductive meetings. 91% of people in meetings daydream, 39% sleep, and 47% complain that meetings are the #1 time-waster in the office. An astonishing $37 billion is wasted on meetings every year in the United States.

On average, two hours per day are spent recovering from distractions

The third culprit of time-wasting is interruptions. The average employee experiences 56 interruptions per day and will spend two hours recovering from these distractions. On average three minutes will be spent working before employees switch tasks.

When you read the statistics, you realize interruptions can be a real problem, greatly harming productivity, but 80% of interruptions at work are considered trivial. Only 60% or less, of work time is actually spent productively.

What is the answer?

What can you do to combat email distractions, an abundance of meetings and interruptions? This varies from company to company but there are a copious amount of apps that can help with productivity.

AGBeat has featured several apps to help you manage your email and meetings can be more effectively managed with these five methods. Additionally, interruptions can be reduced by blocking websites that cause distractions and limiting the amount of time people have to be distracted from their work.

Jennifer Walpole is a staff writer for AGBeat and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.


7 Comments

  1. I cudn’t agree more Jennifer. Email creates lot of chaos & confusion at work. the businesses need not be entangled in the cobweb of decades old communication systems (like email which was invented in year 1971 and hasn’t changed much ever since). Its time to go social and embrace disruptive technologies for collaboration, communication & sharing.

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