How a “quick question” became a slow burn?
When talking about time management, the few important factors that strike our mind are prioritizing tasks, reducing unnecessary meetings, delegating work & creating daily to-do lists, but are we missing something here? Have you ever considered the time employees spend answering the queries from everyone, including co-workers, managers, and clients? Those seemingly ‘quick questions’ can take 10–15 mins, which when multiplied by, say, 15 questions every day becomes a massive time sink.
Research by Mitel suggests that an average employee spends 2/3rd of their day in communication & collaborating, and 15% of employees’ work hours get wasted on unproductive communication. This is equivalent to hiring 6 people and only 5 of them show up to work. Despite the alarming statistics, there’s little to no information available on this time management challenge. This blog post talks about how your employees are losing their critical work hours over answering trivial questions and how you can turn around the situation to boost their productivity.
The Open Door Policy
The open-door policy which was originally put in place to facilitate communication is now coming back to bite managers & executives. Employees tend to exploit this opportunity by taking every challenge/query to their reporting head, thus, shifting the responsibility associated with problem-solving by self. Such instances require executives’/managers’ knowledge about the subject matter, instead end up consuming a lot more time when they get involved in solving the situation. If we could reduce the number of times an employee reaches out to the reporting head in search of information, it would decrease their time wastage by many folds.
Digital and Physical Distractions
Emails, Slack messages, a conversation with a co-worker, or a phone call, are all minor & frequent distractions, which have the ability to drastically disrupt the workflow. Harvard Business Review found that an employee gets disrupted in work almost 50–60 times, of which 80% are for unimportant causes. Another study by the University of California found that an average office worker switches tasks or is interrupted every 3 minutes. And it does not end there as even after the distraction is gone, it takes at least 16 minutes for the employee to refocus on the original work. It’s needless to say that interruptions kill productivity yet often go unnoticed in our time management considerations.
Long/Complex Communication Processes
Most organizations unknowingly harbor a complex culture & communication process. For instance, they’d prioritize meetings, email updates & reports over heads-down work. A survey by Deloitte states that 74% of people worldwide rate their work environment as complex. In complex cultures, teams are compelled to leverage formal means of communication and escalation to get answers to simple questions. Another survey by Adobe revealed that an average worker in the US spends 3.1 hours/day on work emails. Checking & responding to such emails not only consumes time but also disrupts our workflow.
Cell Phone Q&A
Modern technology believes in bringing everything to our fingertips, which is why many new applications (including work software) promote themselves as mobile-friendly. Which poses the question: Is answering work emails or messages on our cells a good practice? Many would say that it saves time, but the reality is quite the opposite. For instance, your co-worker in the Marketing department needs Sales monthly repost and is unable to find information texts you for help. Now, he has to wait for your reply to start his task. On the other hand, you, who were engaged in some other task, pick up the cell to respond to your colleague with the information. While you’re on your cell phone, you might even check personal messages or social media, and now another 30 minutes is lost. Had there been an easier standard way to access information, this cycle would never start, and all the time wasted could be saved.
Inefficient use of Technology
We’ve been blaming technology for all the distractions, but it’s unwise to see only one side of the coin. Today, you can find many applications that are helping individuals and organizations in enhancing their productivity. One of the recent innovations transforming information search in organizations is Nesh, an enterprise answer engine. Nesh works like an enterprise Google search (in fact, better), providing quick & precise answers to queries for internal & external information. Here’s how it is helping organizations:
- Organize & Access Enterprise Knowledge : It can fetch information from internal organizational data and external public data to provide precise results. It understands industry-specific terminologies and requirements, reducing the dependency on colleagues for information. Unlike Google, it does not provide keyword and semantic matching-based results instead allow for a natural conversation with data to find exactly what users are looking for.
- Ask A Question, Get An Answer : Organizations can have limitless data, and finding a file in it could be hard & time taking, which is why employees run to the concerned team member for information. With Nesh, you can enter your question and get precise results instead of a list of links that most search engines provide. There’s no need to manually browse files/links or wait for a colleague’s response.
- Access A Versatile Expert 24X7 : Nesh is on an auto-learning mode 24X7 that keeps updating its understanding of your industry based on the latest information available. Thus, you get the best insights on different teams, competitors, and almost everything you might be looking for at your workplace.
Nesh can have an unprecedented impact in saving time and increasing productivity at the workplace. Want to understand more about this revolutionary application? Click here to connect with us.
Originally published at https://hellonesh.io on October 13, 2021.