New stats show how much of your job really is a waste of time

online meeting
(Image credit: aslysun / Shutterstock)

A new study carried out by project management company Wrike suggests operational inefficiencies are leading employees to waste vast amounts of time.

According to the study, companies with circa 3,000 employees are losing up to $52 million annually in wasted time as a result of unproductive meetings, duplicated efforts, information seeking and status check-ins.

A further $8.2 million was found to be wasted each year in delayed or cancelled projects, while employee churn is said to account for almost half a million dollars over a twelve-month period. 

Wrike claims the digital era has "created a new level of chaos and misalignment”, which is costing businesses millions in what the company is calling workplace “dark matter.” The knowledge workers surveyed claim to be using an average of 14 apps and pieces of software on a daily basis, nine of which were deployed as a result of the pandemic.

Improving company communications

Despite attending a combined 18 days of meetings per year, 59% of business leaders complained that they struggled to keep track of employees’ performance

Communication platforms are the key offenders in the study’s findings, with 86% of the business leaders surveyed having adopted new communication and collaboration tools to support hybrid working routines. Furthermore, workers were found to be receiving an average of almost 300 work-related messages every day.

The effects can be seen beyond large corporations, with the study finding that a company with 100 employees could lose over $1.65 million each year. On the other end of the scale, multinational corporations with more than 100,000 employees could be wasting more than $1.65 billion per annum.

Alongside the evident financial implications, almost two-thirds of knowledge workers felt that they were being overworked, in turn making their working environments less attractive thus potentially increasing employee turnover.

Failure to act upon company “dark matter” within the next five years, says Wrike, will increase its effects by 53%. In an effort to “create a single source of truth for work,” more than eight in 10 enterprises that took part in the survey are looking to invest in technologies such as artificial intelligence and workflow automation.

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!