Looking for more savings? Check how your workers are spending their time online

Despite the reported slight economic recovery, companies are still a bit conservative in as far as their acquisition plans are concerned. Companies are more meticulous now. They are more careful in their decision making – what to buy, where to buy, discounts, terms of payment and more. And of course, they are still looking for ways to where they could save in as far as their operating expenses are concerned.

Well, you don’t have to look far. Savings is just around the corner or I should say is just within your office. Check how your workers are spending their time at the office.

A recent IDC study confirms that email is by far the most time-consuming activity for information workers followed by searching for information. Activities that require working with others, including communicating and collaborating, or managing projects, come next followed by creating and publishing information.

The costs for these activities are staggering, and this progress report shows that the number of hours spent has not improved much since IDC first started collecting this data in 2001.

“In an economy that is now more information based than industrial, and where companies are being forced to downsize due to the financial crisis, increasing the productivity of the information worker has become imperative,” said Susan Feldman, vice president, Search and Discovery Technologies at IDC. “It has become obvious that tasks related to creating, organizing, finding, and analyzing information have become significant time sinks and IDC’s research demonstrates that investment in better information access, management, and collaboration tools and processes pays for itself, often in a matter of months. When knowledge work is automated, not only are enterprises more efficient but their relationships with customers, partners, and suppliers are improved immeasurably.”

Additional key findings of this study include:
– With Web 2.0 applications creeping into the enterprise, information workers will find tools to help them accomplish their work no matter where those tools come from.

IDC’s research on the use and preferences for information worker productivity tools shows that newer tools, particularly instant messaging, but also social networking and blogs, were preferred over more traditional ones like email or team workspaces.

– Email consumes an average of 13 hours per week per information worker and is often intimately intertwined with document workflow, sales, scheduling, and other business processes.

Assuming that the average knowledge worker makes $75,000 a year, the time spent on reading and answering email costs a company $20,990 per worker per year.

But then again, companies shouls also create a balance between productivity and savings. Do not take your cost-cutting too far to the extent that productivity suffers. A worker emailing a client, submitting proposals and communicating with them to patronize your product and services will be a great welcome. Preventing them from doing so will be more disadvantageous to your company.

That is why managing with technical knowledge is of utnmost importance. Know what technology can do for you, and you will know what and how your workers are using and are doing with your company’s resources.


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