Mindjet’s global productivity survey of 2,000 knowledge workers has identified key areas where information overload impacts performance and has calculated that individuals can increase productivity by at least 3-5 hours per week, depending on their organisational role and the time they spend on business activities.
The survey looks at how individuals cope with four main business activities; managing information, conducting meetings, managing projects, communicating and collaborating with colleagues and clients. The data and conclusions in the global study, together with the European Mindjet Value of an Hour client pilot programme measures the results and the time savings that can be gained from using Mindjet’s, MindManager software.
Over the last decade, the amount of information that people manage on a daily basis has become overwhelming. We have reached the state of “Information Overload,” a term coined in 1970 by Alvin Toffler in his book Future Shock. Information is produced at rapidly-increasing rates, duplication and transmission of information is getting easier, communication methods are multiplying and archives of historical information are exponentially growing. It’s become increasingly difficult to find relevant content with all the noise
Conservative estimates by IDC suggest that an organisation with 1,000 employees wastes at least $2.5 million per year by failing to find existing information, searching for outdated information, or recreating information that is outdated and poorly designed. The opportunity costs are even greater, exceeding $15million annually.
Highlights of the average number of hours spent globally per week by knowledge workers on the four main business activities include: 9.00 hours a week is spent on preparing, running and summarising actions for meetings while 6.78 hours are spent managing and consolidating information such as documents, emails and web research. For communication and collaboration such as building power point presentations, writing documents with others and communicating the results to colleagues takes 5.74 hours per week. Finally, 10.70 hours is spent on project and task management.
European results show that the knowledge worker in the UK is slightly more efficient than the rest of Europe in managing meeting effectiveness, spending 7.83 hours per week as opposed to 9.55 hours in Germany. However, the UK comes last in information management, spending 7.08 hours per week, with France spending 6.69 and Germany 5.91 hours. For communication and collaboration, the UK with 5.38 hours does slightly better than France’s 5.70 hours and worse than Germany’s 4.72 hours. When it comes to project management, Germany is supremely efficient spending 9.15 hours per week against the UK at 11.16 hours and France at 11.33 hours.
Uwe Richter, VP EMEA of Mindjet says: “Organisations have to rethink virtually every aspect of their information management and communication strategies. In our information-based economy an organisation’s most important assets shift from natural resources and labour, to knowledge and communication. Corporate knowledge and the ability to communicate that knowledge become the basic building blocks for growing the organisation.”
Will Matthews, Head of Learning & Development Northern Europe at CSC said, “The conversion from meeting to report is now minutes rather than hours or even days. It’s three to five times faster than just typing up notes. I really believe this will revolutionise the way in which CSC problem solves. There is such a tremendous benefit that I can see that it has global potential. It’s an easy but a slick way of brainstorming and force field analysis amongst other things and enables people to think differently about challenges”.