Email and missing files are the biggest productivity killers

Workers in the UK are pretty disorganised, and it’s costing the country billions of pounds each year. Those are the conclusions of a new report, commissioned by Workfront, and done in collaboration with the author of Time Management for Dummies, Clare Evans.

By rethinking business processes, cutting out unnecessary tasks and reorganising the workday, UK businesses could generate £750 million in savings each year, the report suggests.

“Today’s tools and technology, while enabling companies to stay connected, can also be a major source of distraction and interruption, actually reducing productivity overall. Most businesses could benefit by harnessing cloud-based technologies, like Workfront, to bring tasks into one place and allow for more visibility and collaboration across projects,” said Clare Evans.

The report, entitled “Daily Savings Time”, draws inspiration from Daylight Savings Time, which will see Brits lose an hour of sleep this Easter Sunday.

It says that approximately 60 per cent of the workday is spent productively, and that some 50 per cent of office workers’ time is spent on email. Yet, just 14 per cent of those emails are business critical.

According to the report, email is costing UK businesses £1.5 billion a year in wasted time.

A lot of workers feel overwhelmed with tasks, but that’s just a combination of poor planning, priorities switching and limited resources. But perhaps the best example of how lack of planning messes up our workday is the fact that 57 per cent of office workers spend an hour a day looking for missing documents, while 20 per cent spent time recreating lost files.