The current Covid-19 Global Pandemic has highlighted the importance of individual productivity within companies. Fully understanding what impacts our business productivity is critical to surviving and thriving in the current business environment.
Many of our beliefs about productivity have been challenged over the last two years, especially in South Africa. Our traditional views on things like, allowing our employees to work from home, have been radically challenged and forced us to re-evaluate several key aspects of information management and productivity.
A recent survey by Adobe Systems found that on average, employees are spending over three hours a day sending and checking emails, the equivalent of 15.5 hours per week, and 93 days a year spent on email. From a monetary perspective, a company with 100 employees, paid an average salary of R33,000, are collectively paying their staff R924,000 a year just to check email. Of course, emails are a critical component of business communications. Nevertheless, the Adobe study found that more than half of our email time is spent managing spam and personal emails.
So how do we counter a legacy of growing inefficiency? Team leaders are starting to explore new ideas regarding the management and sharing of information. Nathaniel Borenstein, the inventor of the standard behind email attachments, ironically describes email today as, “the headache of being your own system administrator.”
Searching and Managing Information
Searching and gathering business information takes an incredible percentage of our daily worktime. On average, working teams are spending over two hours a day, or 9.3 full hours a week just managing, searching and gathering their own existing business information. Despite great tools like Trello, Google Workspace and Microsoft 365, studies from companies like Gartner still show that over 50% of most company’s digital information, still exists well outside the borders of their content management systems. Furthermore, 43% of the companies researched, confirmed their selected content management systems do not provide effective document search, with over 62% finding it difficult to share information with various customers, suppliers and partners.
When completing an assignment on our desktops, we waste time not only saving the software applications we’re using, but also finding the different documents, websites and digital resources we need for the next project. Computer scientists call the time that we lose, context switching, and it’s a time waster that is costing established businesses and growing teams tens of billions of rands globally every single year.
Studies by Mckenzie & Co. have recently shown that employees lose almost 25 minutes on average, getting fully back on track after an interruption. Part of the problem is the time we waste establishing the right name and folder location for each document we save. It includes all the collective hours we spend manually uploading and downloading documents from the cloud, and saving all those wonderful Bookmarks that we never, ever, go back to! With workplace information saved across the cloud, offline desktops, web browsers and internet based applications, the management of business information is a major challenge for today’s businesses.
So How Do We Do Better?
Most large organisations do not look forward to internal system changes, and correctly so. The change cycle for new software is often one-two years. At the same time, medium and large organisations normally work within five-ten-year business plans. Many large businesses already have several existing technologies, cloud service subscriptions and massive IT infrastructures. The challenges for medium and smaller companies are similar, but even worse, without the resources of IT teams working around the clock. How can change possibly happen, when time rarely affords the opportunity to innovate, implement and integrate effective solutions for the challenges of today? Fortunately, there is some good news.
In today’s business world, service providers that understand these dynamics, are finally answering the call. Service providers, some of which sit in the same patent class as IBM, Adobe, HP, AT&T and Amazon, are now providing new solutions that integrate seamlessly with existing administrative tools, to connect the numerous disconnected spaces of the digital world. Computer users can now access unlimited documents, software applications and websites related to a specific task, and instruct efficiency software to instantly save and close everything for you. All of that- with a single click of a mouse. What’s the big deal? It means that users can finish projects faster without changing the way we work. It means we can recall the specific tools saved for each specific project, on demand. This critical shift in how software solutions are being integrated, provides companies with solutions that don’t require computer users to change the basis of the way they work- yet still gain from the efficiencies needed to build and maintain success. Solutions that comply with existing and expanding business environments are indeed possible, and are leading the way in the world of the new normal.
Clever Cloud is a fully patent protected software solution that allows users to switch between tasks and access information faster.
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