What Could You Do in 9 Hours?
Let’s do a thought exercise. Imagine a few activities you could complete in 9 hours.
Here are a few ideas we came up with:
- Fly from New York to London, clear customs, and get to a hotel.
- Drive the Indy 500 three times.
- Take the Bar Exam. Twice.
- At 58,000 km/hr, you could reach the Moon from Earth.
You can get a lot done in 9 hours. Or, if you’re like the average U.S. knowledge worker, you can lose 9 or more hours to searching and knowledge management-related tasks.
What We Actually Do with 9 Hours During the Work Week
The average knowledge worker (defined as someone whose job requires them to acquire, analyze, and use information to solve problems) spends more than 9 hours per week searching for information.
Searching for and analyzing information both consume 24 percent of the typical knowledge worker’s time (9.5 and 9.6 hours per week, respectively), making these tasks relatively straightforward candidates for better automation. Each task costs an organization more than $14,000 per worker per year. It makes sense, then, that if workers are spending roughly a quarter of their time searching for information and another quarter analyzing it, this time must be as productive as possible.
Many of these are direct, content-related tasks. However, collaborative tasks such as review and approval have 4.3 hours of management overhead on top of the 8.3 hours of editing and reviewing that information knowledge workers do. Managing document routing consumes 4 hours.
The use of software tools that streamline the collaborative review and approval process can reduce or eliminate time wasted in version control issues, reduce the management overhead for document approval and routing, and potentially reduce the edit/review time. Automating these content workflow or business process tasks could eliminate nearly a full workday a week for an information worker who performed all of them today, leaving that worker with the time to work on more productive tasks (or drive the Indy 500 three times).
The math is easy to figure out, but hard to swallow. $14,000 a year per employee is a lot of cash. We obviously can’t stop the need for information, so the solution is to find a way to streamline it and make the time spent as productive and valuable as possible. The automation of knowledge sharing is not just the future of social enterprise, it’s quickly becoming a necessary business tool that directly affects the bottom line.
Now that you have an idea what you could do with 9 hours, imagine what $14,000 a year per employee could get you. Time and money are a business’s most valuable assets, so why waste either?