(Data) Time Is Still Money: Why Effective Communication At Work Saves Both

Our recent survey of 3,000 office workers in the U.S. and UK uncovered surprising data about teams feeling stuck with old communications tools. Workers are frustrated with outdated tech, and companies are wasting hours and resources. Here's insight into how to increase efficiency, improve the employee experience, and modernize your organization’s comms stack.

2022-11-03 20:58:51

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GBI, Industry News

The phrase “time is money” can be traced all the way back to a 1748 Benjamin Franklin essay. More than 200 years later, the aphorism still rings true — especially in today’s distributed work world. The “great experiment” of the last two years forced companies to shift their approach to collaboration and communication. So much focus has gone to questions around where teams work, but the ultimate indicator of a team’s success is effective communication. The future will belong to the teams who unlock better communication through better processes and better tools. 

Time is a terrible thing to waste

The research shows that workers join an average of 12 one-on-one phone calls a day. And every week, office workers waste an average of one hour and 42 minutes scheduling and rescheduling calls in the workplace. All told, that scheduling time costs businesses in the U.S. $1.85 billion dollars a week. 

The “time = money” pit gets deeper when you consider all the other ways workers communicate. Here are the daily averages of the most common communication channels for a single employee: 

  • 32 emails 
  • 21 instant messages/chats 
  • 13 text messages

The cost of miscommunication

Sometimes wires get crossed at work and miscommunications happen. But a simple misunderstood message can take time to recover from. On average, it takes 18 minutes to find a resolution after a workplace misunderstanding or miscommunication happens over digital comms. Unavoidable mishaps like this are costing U.S. businesses at least $361M each week. It’s a nearly ubiquitous problem, with 97% of office workers saying they feel the need to add something in digital communication to clarify tone and preempt confusion. 

ROI — Return On Innovation

Enterprises that invest in new technologies designed to solve these communication problems are seeing a return on those investments; aka paying for innovation pays off. 

Asynchronous video, for example, can help improve team communication efficiency because it combines the time-saving ability of written comms with the clarity of person-to-person interaction. In fact, Loom looked at data from its 14 million users and found that users have 29% fewer meetings on average, allowing teammates to control their time and work in the most convenient way for them. While live meetings will always have a place in the office, they’re not always the best option. 

“In-person meetings gave no time for pause and reflection. People would share whatever came to mind and the loudest people received disproportionate air-time. We were caught up in so much feedback that we were slower to build platforms, release work and realize business value.” — Ryan Tauss, Director of Product Design, Tide Cleaners 

Fewer meetings—and increased intentionality about when and how to communicate—also leads to higher productivity. Loom users report completing projects 53% faster. And a recent MIT Sloan study found that when meetings are reduced by 40% (equivalent of 2 days per week), productivity increases by 71%. Why? Because employees feel more empowered and autonomous.  

“I get a lot more done [using Loom] because I can communicate more effectively across different kinds of situations… and keep cross-functional teams focused on our end goal.”  — Brandon Mensing, Principal Product Manager, Integration & Dev Experience, LaunchDarkly 

Effective communication leads to an improved employee experience and increased productivity. And in an economic period when so many companies are tasked with doing more with less, it can be a game changer

 

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