SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Gary Audin
Gary Audin is the President of Delphi, Inc. He has more than 40 years of computer, communications and security...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Gary Audin | May 26, 2017 |

 
   

Combating Collaboration Inefficiencies

Combating Collaboration Inefficiencies Inefficiencies exist, but there are steps you can take to improve how collaboration impacts your overall productivity.

Inefficiencies exist, but there are steps you can take to improve how collaboration impacts your overall productivity.

We constantly read that collaboration technologies can help us improve productivity. However, collaboration technologies can also be disruptive and distracting. How many times have you gotten a call or an email notice in the middle of working on a project? It can take a while to get back to work, and the interruption may even cause you to forget the comments you wanted to make related to your project. During this time you are less productive or unproductive, but changing collaboration behavior can make collaboration more efficient.

Collaboration Studied
The Webtorials report, "2017 Workplace Productivity and Communications Technology Report," based on responses from 906 business professionals from the U.S., the U.K., France, and Germany, provides a nice snapshot of workplace productivity as it relates to communications technology. About one third of the respondents work for companies with 2500+ employees, one quarter of the respondents work for medium-size companies between 500 and 2500 employees, and 42% work for small businesses with fewer than 500 employees. The report was financially supported by Mitel. The graphics in this blog are from the Webtorials report.

Where Do We Spend our Collaboration Time?
The report summarized some interesting observations:

  • More than two-thirds of the respondents' work day is spent on communication-based activities
  • Real-time communications, that is person-to-person phone calls and face-to-face meetings, consumes about three hours a day on average
  • Phone calls are the biggest time consumer, whether through the desk phone or mobile phone, and totaled 95 minutes per day
  • Email reading and production consumes another 80 minutes per day
  • Face-to-face meetings consume 71 minutes per day

Study the chart below from the report. What may surprise you is that 31% of the time is spent on activities other than communications tasks. I would have expected reversal of time spent with 69% of the time spent in other activities rather than communicating. Sometimes I think we are over communicating and under producing.

portable

Collaboration Inefficiencies
Another part of the report dealt with the impact of these inefficiencies on the workday. The report went through multiple tasks, as seen in the chart below. Report respondents said they communicated an average of 6.03 hours per day. When looking at the inefficiency of these collaboration tasks, a total of 1.26 hours was lost every day.

The report went on to try to determine the financial impact of this lost productivity. The average worker in the study reported to be busy 43.96 hours each week. A number of assumptions were made with an end result of about $15,000 USD per employee per year is lost in inefficient collaboration.

portable


Increasing Collaboration Efficiency
Collaboration is a two-way street. Remember that when you collaborate, others are involved so you need to consider their time and the best media to collaborate with them. How you collaborate, your behavior, and the behavior of others during the collaboration event will impact the efficiency. Here are some suggestions to make your collaboration more efficient:

Real Time

  • Does everyone invited to the collaboration event really need to be there?
  • Prepare an agenda
  • Stick to the agenda
  • Summarize the agenda accomplishments and send them out to all those who participated, as well as to those who need to be informed
  • Archive the collaboration events, using as many keywords as possible so people can look it up and find information rapidly
  • Consider videoconferencing rather than just straight audio conferencing. You may learn something by watching the speakers that you did not discern when you just heard their voices.

Email

  • Read your emails in batches, not one at a time
  • Send short emails, and if possible put the entire message of the email in the subject line so nothing else has to be read
  • Use instant messaging (IM) instead of email

It is nice to be sociable when you communicate. But social interactions, although important, are not the primary reason for communicating. Keep the social interactions to a minimum. You may want to finish the social interactions at the very beginning of any communications. Although social interactions may make you feel comfortable, they're not necessarily the goal of your communications.

Do not stick to one media. Not everyone is equally comfortable with all the media. I found one case where someone wanted to instant message everyone else but not respond to phone calls, conferences, or emails. This is extreme behavior, and the person's management should work to change this behavior. This behavior appears to be selfish, inconsiderate of others, and arrogant. You would probably avoid collaborating with this person.

Some other blogs on collaboration include, "Collaboration Is a Behavior, Not a Technology," "Where Are We with Team Collaboration?," and "Making Collaboration Work."





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

December 13, 2017

The two major vendors in the Unified Communications space, Cisco and Microsoft, are both strongly promoting their cloud UC deployments. If cloud UC is on your enterprises roadmap, but you dont want

November 29, 2017

As video conferencing use rises in the enterprise, businesses are looking for ways to bring this technology out of traditional conference room and make it more broadly accessible. That's made the h

November 1, 2017

Your customers (internal and external) demand that you offer them the ability to connect by any means. With the adoption of cloud communications tools you now have access to an expanded portfolio o

November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.