Small Business Dogged by Essential But Unproductive TasksBy Channel Insider Staff | Print
Unproductive tasks like sorting through spam emails are hurting small business productivity, according to a new survey.
Small business communications company Fonality released the findings of the "2011 Report on UC and Cloud-based Services for SMBs" conducted by Webtorials. The study examined the productivity and communications challenges of small and mid-size businesses (SMBs). Findings revealed that knowledge workers at small to medium-size businesses (SMBs) spend 50 percent of their workday on necessary, yet unproductive tasks, including routine communications and filtering incoming information and correspondence.
The report offered other points of discovery, finding knowledge workers are among the largest staff component in a typical SMB and they spend an estimated 36 percent of their time trying to contact customers, partners or colleagues, find information and schedule a meeting. Approximately 14 percent of SMB knowledge workers said their time is spent duplicating information such as forwarding e-mails or phone calls to confirm if fax/e-mail/text message was received and managing unwanted communications like spam e-mails or unsolicited time-wasting phone calls.
"No one has examined the impact of inefficient communications on small and mid-size business, and the findings are not only stunning, but they point to a need for immediate change," said Steve Taylor, editor-in-chief and publisher for Webtorials, which conducted the survey. "We found that reducing a knowledge worker’s unproductive time by 25 percent can yield an extra six weeks in productivity each year, per employee, which should be an immediate call to action for business owners."