Other
Commentary
11/12/2005
08:02 PM
Commentary
Commentary
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Productivity Killers

Listen to a podcast version of the Daily


In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Productivity Killers
2. Today's Top Story
    - Microsoft SUS Users Finally Receive Patches
    - Microsoft Sends Out Flash Alert
3. Breaking News
    - HP Announces New AMD-Based Blade PC
    - Sony Sued For Rootkit Copy Protection
    - Google Gets Closer To Firefox
    - Firefox Turns 1, Ratchets Up Marketing
    - IBM, Microsoft Lead Group To Consolidate Linux Patents
    - Cisco Reports Growth In Enterprise Spending
    - 'Kill Bill's Browser' Site Aims To Cash In On Google's Bounty
    - Study Says Workers Wasting More Time
    - PC Containing Consumer Credit Data Stolen
    - IBM Software Helps Companies Monitor Reputations Online
    - $50 Million Gambit Pays Off, SAP CEO Says
    - Global Mail Services Seen As New Frontier For RFID
    - Finding More Juice For Power-Thirsty Devices
4. In Depth: Reviews And Personal Tech
5. Voice Of Authority: Dell-AMD Partnership
6. White Papers: E-Mail Overload
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"The productivity of work is not the responsibility of the worker but of the manager." -- Peter Drucker


1. Editor's Note: Productivity Killers

A new study on the productivity of the white-collar workforce by training organization IBT-USA begs for commentary and further discussion. IBT-USA collected information over a five-year period on the work habits of more than 1,000 employees at 30 companies. Some key findings and what they mean:

  • Time spent handling E-mail has increased 220% in the past four years and now averages 8.8 hours per week. I wish I spent 8.8 hours a week handling E-mail. In my case, the figure is at least 15 hours, possibly more. If I read every E-mail I got, it would likely be 30 hours per week.

  • Working hours devoted to handling paper or snail mail is down 35%, to 1.3 hours per week. Unless you're managing the mailroom, an employee who spends nearly an hour and half per week processing snail mail is low-hanging fruit when it comes to better productivity.

  • Workers say their time spent attending ineffective meetings increased 300% to 2.1 hours per week. If you notice how hard it can be to schedule meetings with people inside and outside your company--some of whom apparently spend anywhere from 20 to 30 hours per week in meetings--I'd guess the actual figure is a lot higher than two hours per week. Rather than focus on the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the meetings themselves, I think the focus should be on whether a given person needs to be in some meetings, or whether there's some other revenue-producing activity he or she can spend time on.

  • The amount of time people spend "being interrupted" is up 37% to 4.5 hours per week. There are two ways to look at this: People get interrupted but could easily cut the interruptions short and trim that figure by a couple hours. However, those "interruptions" can also be viewed as personal interactions with co-workers, which pay dividends over time in team-building, collaboration, and camaraderie.

  • Time devoted to "looking for information" is up 13% to 1.7 hours per week. Weren't computers, networks, databases, business intelligence, and other systems supposed to make this figure go down, not up? We may have an IT problem there.

  • If you took a big chunk out of many unproductive functions (working on backlog, three hours per week; planning work, 2.2 hours; attending ineffective meetings, 2.1 hours), the amount of time spent "working overtime" (6.4 hours per week) could go away.

  • In a somewhat oxymoronic finding, the average worker spends 3.5 hours per week "delegating work." Can it really consume 9% of the week having other people do work?

    How do these data points map to your experiences in your company? Are E-mail, unproductive meetings, and the search for information dragging your productivity down? Please share your opinions by commenting at my blog entry.

    ++++

    If you haven't noticed, we've gone multimedia with this newsletter. You can access a podcast version every day from one place. Let us know if our voices sound as good as our prose.

    Tom Smith
    tsmith@cmp.com
    www.informationweek.com


    2. Today's Top Story: Microsoft Patches

    Microsoft SUS Users Finally Receive Patches
    Following a day-and-a-half delay, users of Microsoft's Software Update Services can now download this month's patches.

    Related Stories:
    Microsoft Sends Out Flash Alert

    Days after Macromedia posted fixes to its Flash player, Microsoft posted a security advisory directing users of its Windows XP, XP SP2, 95, 98, and Me to the third-party patches. This is Microsoft's first security bulletin for a third-party product.


    3. Breaking News

    HP Announces New AMD-Based Blade PC
    New hardware upgrades performance and reduces data-center space required for virtual-desktop computing.

    Sony Sued For Rootkit Copy Protection
    Sony BMG Music Entertainment has been hit with at least one class-action lawsuit over its rootkit-as-copy-protection software. The lawsuit claims the software violates two anti-fraud statutes, as well as a third law forbidding placement of spyware in a computer.

    Google Gets Closer To Firefox
    Google is providing its ad publishers with a set of buttons that Web site visitors can use to download Firefox with the Google Toolbar

    Firefox Turns 1, Ratchets Up Marketing
    Mozilla Corp. says demand "completely outstripped our expectations."

    IBM, Microsoft Lead Group To Consolidate Linux Patents
    Six vendors are forming a new company to acquire patents and offer them royalty-free with a proviso that acquirers not assert the patents against Linux vendors or members of the consortium.

    Cisco Reports Growth In Enterprise Spending
    Still, the company is cautious about the future. "It's too early to say it's turned around," chief development officer Charles Giancarlo says.

    'Kill Bill's Browser' Site Aims To Cash In On Google's Bounty
    Four political activists from Massachusetts launched a parody Web site dubbed "Kill Bill's Browser" to convince Web users to switch from Internet Explorer to Firefox.

    Study Says Workers Wasting More Time
    With fewer people in the office to do the work, employees feel the need to collaborate more but, in many cases, actually accomplish less, according to a study from a training organization.

    PC Containing Consumer Credit Data Stolen
    TransUnion will review its data-handling processes after loss of desktop system with information on more than 3,600 consumers.

    IBM Software Helps Companies Monitor Reputations Online
    One possible use, for example: analyzing the success of a marketing campaign by tracking online conversations about relevant products.

    $50 Million Gambit Pays Off, SAP CEO says
    SAP CEO Henning Kagermann said a decision to increase R&D spending by $50 million shortly after rival Oracle acquired competitor PeopleSoft last year is paying off with significant growth in market share.

    Global Mail Services Seen As New Frontier For RFID
    Some researchers expect postal and courier mail services to become the second-largest market for radio-frequency identification item-level tagging, following the retail sector.

    Finding More Juice For Power-Thirsty Devices
    Battery makers are rushing to try to improve their wares, with much of their research centered on improving the old standby--the lithium ion battery.

    All our latest news

    Watch More News

    John Soat brings you "Crime Stories" in the current episode of "The News Show." Buyer beware! Here's some of the latest news on data information breaches and online fraud schemes.

    Also in Thursday's episode:

    John Soat With "P&G's Shared Services"
    A discussion with Procter & Gamble's CIO about the integration of the company's global services with its IT organization.

    Alex Wolfe With "Viva Las Vegas"
    Alex introduces us to some of his favorite Web sites, including AOL's new online guide to Las Vegas.


    ----- The latest research, polls, and tools -----

    Nominations For Blog-X Awards!
    You determine the nominees and you choose the winner in TechWeb's second annual Blog-X Awards. Nominate your favorite tech blog now, and be sure to return when it's time to vote for the winner!

    Subscribe To Your Favorite Authors
    Are you a fan of Fred Langa? Are there other InformationWeek authors that you view as must-reads? Then check out our all-new author directory; each author has his or her own page and RSS feed.
    -----------------------------------------


    4. In Depth: Reviews And Personal Tech

    Review: Kodak EasyShare Printer Dock Plus Series 3
    Kodak's EasyShare Printer Dock Plus Series 3 features built-in Bluetooth, infrared, optional Wi-Fi, a USB port, a USB dock, and a Secure Digital card slot. This dye-transfer printer produces lovely, full-color prints that are waterproof, stain resistant, and will last a lifetime.

    Review: Roxio's Easy Media Creator 8
    The new version of Roxio's tools for creating music and data CDs offers awesome features, but it has a secretive dark side, too.

    Review: Linksys CIT200 Wireless Phone
    The Linksys CIT 200 Portable telephone is a wireless phone that allows you to make and receive Skype calls without being tethered to your computer. Does it work like a regular phone? Sort of.

    Review: Kyocera KR1 Wireless Router
    Easy setup and good throughput make the KR1 Router a device any mobile business can both afford and put to good use.

    Primer: How To Root Out Rootkits
    There's no easy way to remove a rootkit--it requires a "wipe and restore"--but you can get some help with the diagnosis from RootkitRevealer.

    Office Letter: Move Microsoft Access Data Between Tables
    If you want to get data from one table into another in Microsoft Access, use the Append Query function to do the job.


    5. Voice Of Authority: Dell-AMD Partnership

    Is Dell Sale Of AMD Processors A Calculated Strategy?
    Dell has been a stalwart, Intel-only customer, but recently the company put AMD processors up for sale on its E-commerce Web site. Darrell Dunn wonders what it means--is Dell just seeing an opportunity to make a quick buck, or does it signal some kind of strategic shift for Dell?


    6. White Papers: E-Mail Overload

    You've Got Too Much Mail!--Architectural Comparison Of Enterprise Anti-spam Solutions
    In lost productivity alone, industry research indicates that spam costs companies $874 per employee, and, adding in IT costs, it will drain a total of more than $10 billion. This paper analyzes architectural and technology alternatives that businesses should take to fight spam and recommends the most effective approaches.


    7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

    Try InformationWeek's RSS Feed

    Discover all InformationWeek's sites and newsletters

    Recommend This Newsletter To A Friend
    Do you have friends or colleagues who might enjoy this newsletter? Please forward it to them and point out the subscription page.


    8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

    To unsubscribe from, subscribe to, or change your E-mail address for this newsletter, please visit the InformationWeek Subscription Center.

    Note: To change your E-mail address, please subscribe your new address and unsubscribe your old one.

    Keep Getting This Newsletter
    Don't let future editions of InformationWeek Daily go missing. Take a moment to add the newsletter's address to your anti-spam white list:
    InfoWeek@update.informationweek.com

    If you're not sure how to do that, ask your administrator or ISP. Or check your anti-spam utility's documentation. Thanks.

    We take your privacy very seriously. Please review our Privacy Policy.

    InformationWeek Daily Newsletter
    A free service of InformationWeek and the TechWeb Network.
    Copyright (c) 2005 CMP Media LLC
    600 Community Drive
    Manhasset, N.Y. 11030

    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
    More Insights
  • The Business of Going Digital
    The Business of Going Digital
    Digital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
    Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
    White Papers
    Current Issue
    InformationWeek Tech Digest - July 22, 2014
    Sophisticated attacks demand real-time risk management and continuous monitoring. Here's how federal agencies are meeting that challenge.
    Flash Poll
    Video
    Slideshows
    Twitter Feed
    InformationWeek Radio
    Live Streaming Video
    Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
    Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.