How many times have you come to work ready to jump into a project just to find countless emails piled up in your inbox?  And once you took care of your inbox clog you were drawn into a conversation with a coworker that led you further astray?


If you are nodding emphatically, you are not alone.  In a recent survey we conducted with Harris Research, we found 79% of people spend their workday checking emails when that time could be put towards something more productive.  That alone is costing American businesses over $2 billion dollars A DAY!*  And when asked what was the biggest distraction at work, 36% of Americans surveyed said chatty coworkers hindered their daily work efforts.  Here’s a quick breakdown on the key findings:


Time Wasted by American Workers on Email When They Could Be Doing Something More Productive:

  • 79% say they waste time checking emails.
  • 18% spend more than 25% of their workday checking irrelevant emails.


The Biggest Distractions at Work:

  • 36% of employed Americans said coworkers are their biggest distraction.
  • 20% said email was their biggest distraction during the workday.
  • 19% said that meetings are the most distracting during the workday.

Finding Work/Life Balance:

  • 48% of employed Americans report working when on vacation.
  • 19% of employed Americans are more overwhelmed by technology at work now compared to five years ago.


It’s a story that we have heard time and again as people look to move away from legacy technologies, some as old as 40 years old, and focus on social business offerings like Jive to collaborate with their colleagues, find the information they need quickly, and communicate in a way that delivers meaningful and more productive outcomes. 


As we have talked about in recent blogs, don’t just take our word for it. Research done by a top-three global business consultancy found companies using Jive have seen a 21% reduction in email, 16% reduction in meetings and 61% felt more connected to their colleagues in a productive and efficient way. 


Now that might be something worth talking about at “today’s” watercooler.  Join the discussion on Twitter and spread awareness on how new workplace technologies are changing the way people tackle office distractions using @jivesoftware and #saynotoemail




*Based on average hourly wage and number of management, professional, sales and office workers in the US.  All figured sourced from US Bureau of Labor Statistics February 2013 Data