By CLAIRE GORDON
Office workers today spend a lot of time crafting, reading, re-reading, and replying to emails. In fact, a new survey from the McKinsey Global Institute finds that the average “knowledge worker”—someone whose job mostly involves interacting with co- workers, customers or suppliers, spends 28 per cent of their time doing just that. If you work 260 days a year, that’s a full 73 days spent emailing.
That’s depressing. But not because the person you’re emailing is sitting approximately 12 feet away, and you could just talk to them face-to-face. Not because over email you’re more inclined to send crazed rants, or click “reply all” by accident. It’s depressing, according to McKinsey, because that’s a huge waste of time.
Email is usually one-on-one communication, and a lot of information that would be useful to a lot of people is “locked up in email inboxes.” If this information and communication was switched to social platforms instead, like blogs and social networks, the productivity of these workers could soar by 20 to 25 per cent, McKinsey predicts.
Looking at just four sectors –consumer packaged goods, retail financial services, advanced manufacturing, and professional services –McKinsey estimates that this could add value on a “potentially transformative scale.” A scale like over $1 trillion a year. Over the past couple of years, the word on the street has been that kids are ditching email for online chat and texting.
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