Interruptions clobber productivity

Interruptions clobber productivity

A recent study suggests approximately one-third of the work week is spent answering other peoples’ questions – often repetitive ones – leading to significant productivity loss.

Collaborative Strategies LLC, a management services firm, conducted the survey on behalf of knowledge and expertise management solution provider ePeople. A total of 300 employees and managers participated, all from North American companies with annual revenues of US$50 million or more.

Those surveyed indicated that interruptive questions resulted in managers and team members spending just 68 per cent of the week performing their primary job. The rest of the time was spent answering repetitive questions, according to Collaborative.

Ed Shepherdson, vice-president of global customer support for Ottawa-based software vendor Cognos, an ePeople customer, said within his organization the most frequent interruptions occur when junior people interrupt senior people who have more knowledge.

“Every time [it happens], it costs your company money,” he said.

According to Anthony Lye, CEO of ePeople, the trouble is that many organizations don’t have a process in place to manage frequently asked questions and their respective answers. For companies that sell complex products, like software, there are millions of potential questions to be answered, increasing the odds that an employee will have to interrupt someone else in order to solve a problem.

“If you can’t resolve a situation and you have to resort to interrupting anyone you can think of, your company takes a double hit,” Lye said.

Of the study’s respondents, 84 per cent said they have no technology for expertise management and location. Of those, all but one said they used a home

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Featured Article

ADaPT connects employers with highly skilled young workers

Help wanted. That’s what many tech companies across Canada are saying, and research shows that as the demand for skilled workers...

Related Tech News

Tech Jobs

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Tech Companies Hiring Right Now