Is Email Costing Your Organization $8,000 or $15,173 Per Year Per Employee?

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Is Email Costing Your Organization $8,000 or $15,173 Per Year Per Employee?

According to IDC, the average knowledge worker spends 7 hours per week doing email chores, such as replying, filing, trying to find attachments – a particularly frustrating activity for me. At Concept Searching we are email junkies, so I could probably double that number.

What’s the bottom line? IDC says it’s costing about $8,000 per employee per year. Newer statistics aggregated by Contatta indicate that the average user spends 637 hours per year in the email abyss. That adds up to $15,173 per year. From either perspective, it isn’t pretty.

It’s just not possible to abandon email to reduce all these costs. There still exists a concept known as the intranet. It’s been around for over 20 years. Fast forward. Most intranets remain unused. Did you know that only 13 percent of employees actually use their intranet? I bet you didn’t. Why is that so? Because it provides no value and it typically doesn’t have buy-in from the business leaders and execs. If they knew how much email was costing them, I bet they would jump on board the intranet train pretty darn fast.

Intranets are now on the verge of becoming passé. Today, organizations must have a communication and collaboration platform. I still hold out for the intranet. Communication and collaboration are tools that are often used by functional groups, not necessarily the organization as a whole, then adopted and mandated to be used by the entire organization. The fate becomes the same as intranet adoption.

Can intranets be effective? Of course they can. They need to offer more than an outdated employee manual. That’s the crux of success and failure. Let’s take a huge leap of faith and assume all the execs are enthusiastic about all the benefits and cost savings intranets can achieve. I would recommend a careful look at tools, and choose a flexible framework that can be used across a wide variety of applications. It’s ok if you do choose a communications and collaboration platform. The bottom line is your data and content. Ok, I am blatantly leading you to our software. But for now, let’s keep sales out of it and just concentrate on functionality.

In preparation for the solution, take a look at what is actually in the emails that causes that drain on time. Using our semantic, multi-term metadata generator and automatic categorization, you’ll be able to tell exactly what is being bandied about by all functional groups in your organization, be it HR, sales, marketing or finance.

Beyond that, what is contained in the email and any attachments? Since the ability to generate contextual understanding is a given, you will be able to gain insight into the communications, both positive and negative. Maybe the solution is a combination of an enterprise repository and productivity and collaboration tools.

Your intranet is your corporate memory. It’s not a replacement for email, but if you can analyze your current email patterns, you’ll have a much greater chance of delivering useful tools to all users. Let me know if you have done this, and what the outcome was. If you would like to know more about this topic and cleaning up email, please visit our content optimization page.

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