Improving Business Productivity – Part 1

We have all heard the saying “Time is money” in one way or another. There is a great deal of money being lost or wasted every month in businesses world-wide. Even 10 minutes of unproductive time can cost your company thousands of dollars a month.


Let’s do a little math to see what we are dealing with. Say we are a company with 50 employees, and each employee costs us $27 hour (this includes wage, hard costs to keep that employee, etc.). Now let’s divide that $27 by 60. That works out to be $0.45 per minute. Then we take that and multiply it by the number of minutes (in this case 10 minutes), that equals $4.50 a day. Let’s take that $4.50 and multiply that by the number of employees (50). Now we are up to $225 a day, when we multiply that by 30 days in a month we have just spent an incredible $6,750 a month.

Just to put this into perspective, before I started writing this article I had to turn on my computer (2.5 min), start all my applications (5 min), and check my emails (5 min). It took 12.5 minutes for me to be fully up and running, and I have to do that every day. This is not to say that this is what happens at every company, there are also other things that can waste time. In this series of articles, we will be exploring a few things that can also lead to unproductive time and how to remedy them. Today we will start with email.


Some of you might be thinking, “Email is a time saver, not a time waster.” The truth is that emails are both. If used properly emails can be an awesome time saver, but if not, can be very unproductive. A study conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute shows that office employees spend an average of 2.6 hours per day reading and answering emails. So now you ask… “How do I stop this from happening?” We have a few things you can do to help with your email efficiency.

Either in the morning or at the end of the day, but not both or the middle of the day.

Turning off notifications on your email will keep you less distracted and more focused on the job at hand.

If you are going to check your emails every few hours, make sure you answer the emails that require a response right away. Instead of reading it and putting it off to respond to later, reply to it. This way you won’t have a pile of email you have to go through and answer later, taking much longer than just answering it and getting it out of the way.

Most people will spend about 30 seconds on each email typing out their name, address and contact information. Creating a signature will save you a ton of time.

There is nothing worse than sending someone an email and not getting a response. For example, a company sends you an email for a quote, but it would take two days to create that quote. By the time you have sent the information, they have taken their business elsewhere. All that work you did was for nothing. By giving them a bridge email, the sender will know that you have acknowledged you have received their email and it will take a few days to get back to them.

There you have it. Sharing these few things with your employees can save you both time and money.

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