A recent study commissioned by VoIP phone system vendor Fonality (whose products my company sells) concludes that knowledge workers in small and medium sized businesses waste half of their workday on unproductive but necessary tasks. These tasks include:
- 74 minutes trying to get in touch with customers, vendors, or colleagues
- 67 minutes looking up information about the business
- 33 minutes trying to schedule meetings with colleagues
- 39 minutes repeating themselves via email, chat, or phone
- 29 minutes dealing with spam or avoiding phone calls
Of course, Fonality’s solution is to install unified messaging (no surprise). While we have found their product helpful in many of these areas, there are other really good solutions to many of these issues. I’ve found that leaving good voicemail messages or sending specific information in emails can keep things moving during a game of phone tag. Good full-text searching helps find information that I know is there but don’t know exactly where there is. Tungle is a fantastic tool for scheduling meetings, even when it’s just between two people. And of course, a good spam filter can be a godsend, along with enhanced callerid.
I haven’t found a good solution for the 39 minutes of repetition, but I’ve found that repetition isn’t always such a bad thing when dealing with people.