The Cost of Not Paying Attention: How Interruptions Impact Knowledge Worker Productivity

Date: 4/5/2010
Category: Research Paper
Tags: attention,interruptions,knowledge worker
Source Author: Jonathan Spira and Joshua Feintuch
Source Date: 1/1/2015
Source Name: Basex
Source URL: Link to Source Article or Site

Unnecessary interruptions cost U.S. businesses $588 billion per year according to research conducted Basex. Such interruptions come from many sources, including instant messaging, spam e-mail, telephone calls, and the Web. “The Cost of Not Paying Attention: How Interruptions Impact Knowledge Worker Productivity” is the first in-depth look at a problem that results in 28 billion lost man-hours per annum in the United States. Technology promised to make workers more efficient, but it has the potential to cost companies billions unnecessarily. Basex surveyed over 1000 executives and knowledge workers to find out how interruptions impact their work and what they do to counter the impact of unnecessary interruptions. Managers need to recognize that 28 percent of each knowledge or information worker’s day may be wasted due to unnecessary interruptions such as instant messaging, spam e-mail, telephone calls and the Web. Nothing has been more disruptive or costly to business, but there are many things that companies can do to minimize the costs. This includes training knowledge workers to prioritize work at hand, providing them with the discretion to turn off technology or separate themselves from technology to do work. As a member of IORG, you are entitled to a single-user license for this report.

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