Technology was supposed to make people more productive. But a new study out from market research firm uSamp indicates that some of the social networking, mobile and collaboration technologies that we’ve grown to love over the years are actually killing precious time. Sixty percent of workplace interruptions are tied to email, social networks, text messages or simply switching windows in various applications.
The survey of 500 U.S. employees discovered that 53 percent of workers waste at least one hour per day on various distractions. That equates to more than $10,000 in wasted productivity per person each year (considering an average salary of $30 per hour).
“This survey paints a picture of a highly distracted workplace with a particular irony: information technology that was designed at least in part to save time is actually doing precisely the opposite. The very tools we rely on to do our jobs are also interfering with that mission,” said Yaacov Cohen, co-founder and CEO of harmon.ie, the email startup that commissioned the study.
According to the study, 23 percent of respondents said that they get distracted by email while nine percent cited personal activities on Facebook. Instant messaging accounted for six percent, followed by text messaging (five percent) and Web search (three percent).
Furthermore, the study found that people on average spend just over two hours per week trying to find documents in email, on the desktop or in a storage device.
We’re also becoming more ruder as a result of technology, with two thirds of people saying that they will interrupt a meeting in order to communicate with someone either via email (48 percent); phone call (35 percent); IM (28 percent); updating social networking status (12 percent) or Tweeting (nine percent).
Even more interesting, 85 percent of respondents only turn off their mobile devices when their boss asks them to. Do you?