How do people really spend their day?

In a study by the Information Worker Productivity Council in 2004 they found that the average knowledge worker:

Spent 3 hours and 14 minutes a day using technologies to process work-related information—just over 40% of an 8-hour work day, the details follow, they:

    Devoted 1.58  hours/day to e-mail (49% of the information processing [IP] time, and 20% of an 8 hour day)
  • Spent 47 minutes, or 24% of IP time on telephone and voice mail
  • Received 44 e-mails daily (4 people received 500 a day)
  • Sent 17 e-mails daily
  • Received 16 instant or text messages a day (for respondents using this technology)
  • Received 18 calls, places 15 calls, gets 7.6 voice mail messages
  • Participated in 2.75 conference calls a week (if any)

and this 40% excluded travelling!

n a similar study by ntl:Telewest Business shows that email and telephone habits can reduce productivity rather than increase it.  Examples of time wasting include:

  • Travel not including to and from work: 14 minutes
  • Chasing responses to urgent emails: 42 minutes
  • Responding to voicemails or managing phone calls: 27 minutes
  • Trying to locate colleagues: 12 minutes
  • Meetings that are unnecessarily long: 12 minutes
  • Asking others for files or documents (e.g. version control): 9 minutes
  • Scheduling and rescheduling meetings: 8 minutes
  • Conference calls that could be far shorter: 6 minutes

Highlighted in the research was the over-reliance on voicemail when returning or making phone calls, having to wait for people to call you back before you get the answer you require. Similarly, a delay caused by having to wait for emails to be answered with relevant information was another area that increased time wastage each day.

Two hours, 10 minutes was the amount that people wasted each day at work on average, of which one hour 38 minutes was due to communication technologies not being used to good effect.

Of 1,468 people questioned, the average time spent each day waiting for or chasing responses to urgent emails and on unnecessary emails was 42 minutes. An average of 27 minutes was wasted responding to voicemails or managing phone calls and 12 minutes was lost trying to locate colleagues.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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