No wonder you feel like your working hours slip by as the time left to do "real work" stretches beyond 9 to 5.
We spent 61 per cent of our office time dealing with emails, retrieving information and collaborating, and only 39 per cent actually performing tasks. We’re bogged down by so much information, delivered so easily by a culture intent on ‘keeping everyone in the loop’, finding the information we need amongst the clutter is becoming more and more difficult.
But according to the McKinsey Global Institute, the research arm of management consultancy McKinsey & Company, a wide adoption of social media technologies by businesses could cut down some of the time-wasting involved in emailing and improve worker productivity by 20 to 25 per cent.
According to their "The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technology" report, workers are spending 28 per cent of their time reading, writing or responding to email, and another 19 per cent tracking down information to complete their tasks. Communicating and collaborating internally accounts for another 14 per cent of the average working week, with only 39 per cent of the time remaining to accomplish role-specific tasks.
So, not even 40 per cent of work hours is spent actually undertaking the mechanics of doing our job.
But, the institute suggests social enterprises could 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 per cent on average.
Social media technologies include software products and services that allow people to connect more efficiently than via 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 much like Facebook and already-existing social tools for enterprises such as Chatter, by Salesforce.com, and Yammer, owned by Microsoft.
The report, however, suggests increased productivity can not be achieved "simply by installing social software". The tools need to be accompanied by management change and commitment.
Businesses have also to pay attention to possible generational differences when attempting to integrate social tools at work.
The institute estimates that between $US900 billion and $1.3 billion ($859 billion to $1.24 billion) of global economic surplus could be "unlocked" through the use of social technologies in private and public sectors.
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