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Report: Knowledge workers spend 28 percent of the week on email

A McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report concludes how much time knowledge workers spend managing emails. More importantly, the report states by how much productivity could rise when replacing email with social media technologies.

Social technologies replace email and improve efficiencyThe report, ‘The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies’, is valuable reading for companies searching for more effective ways to work.

Through interviews with 4200 managers from companies in different businesse, the report lists a number potential gains in efficiency. Among the more interesting findings is the fact that knowledge workers spend 28 percent of the week handling emails, searching for information and collaborating. And these are the areas with most room for improvement, according to the report.

“The McKinsey Global Institute finds that twice as much potential value lies in using social tools to enhance communications, knowledge sharing, and collaboration within and across enterprises. MGI’s estimates suggest that by fully implementing social technologies, companies have an opportunity to raise the productivity of interaction workers – high-skill knowledge workers, including managers and professionals – by 20 to 25 percent,” MGI concludes.

2/3 of raise in efficiency in collaboration and communication alone

The report points towards improving collaboration and communications as this is the area where the most is to be gained from improving efficiency throughout the organization. A staggering 2/3 of the total potential efficiency can be harvested by turning attention to the time spent on emails and search for information and coworkers.

“The findings in the McKinsey Global Institute report are very much in line with our philosophy about communicating in the same application that you perform your everyday activities and share information and data. The results from our own email ban that started earlier this year mirror the conclusions in the report. We more than halved the total amount of emails sent as well as improved and gathered communication about projects, customers etc.,” says Morten Marquard, CTO in Exformatics.

The findings in the report do not only apply to customer oriented businesses. McKinsey states that the value and productivity boost can apply both internally and across organisations.

In January 2012 Exformatics replaced internal emails with activity streams, short status updates similar to those on Facebook and LinkedIN. The tool for collaboration and knowledge sharing is leveraged through social technologies. Activity streams have replaced emails as a means of communication.

Read abstract from the McKinsey Global Institute survey here.

Key findings from McKinsey Global Institute report:

  • Knowledge workers spent 28 percent of the week writing emails, searching for information and collaboration.
  • By integrating social technologies businesses can boost productivity for highly skilled workers, including management, by as much as 25 percent.
  • 2/3 of potential productivity gains from social technologies can be found in collaboration and communication.
  • On average knowledge workers spend 28 percent of the week handling email.
  • 20 percent of the time is spent seaching for information and tracking down coworkers.
  • Social technologies convert internal communication to content – searchable data. That has the potential of reducing time spent searching for information by 25 percent.
  • 90 percent of business using social technologies report business gains.






Other News from the World of Exformatics

This is the news section and pressroom. Here you can get an overview of what’s going on in Exformatics, the world of ECM, etc.


 01-02-2012 ISS Chooses Exformatics for Document Management
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 04-01-2012 NKT Flexibles Manages Sales and Projects with Exformatics
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  22-12-2011 ECM app empowers mobile users
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 05-11-2011 New appointments at Exformatics
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 05-10-2011 Exformatics awarded growth prize
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 19-09-2011 New appointments
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 05-08-2011 The David Collection chooses Exformatics ECM
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 04-07-2011 Copenhagen hit by thunderstorms. Hopefully, the power supply will be working again Tuesday. For further information, contact Bo Skovfoged, Communications, at +45 3110 1976.

 11-09-2010 LEGO Juris approves Exformatics ECM test run
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09-09-2010 The Nordic Culture Fund Chooses Exformatics ECM
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 22-07-2010 Digitising and sharing workflows: Exformatics in cooperation with the IT University of Copenhagen
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 23-04-2010 Swedish architects FOJAB choose Exformatics ECM
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 16-03-2010 Exformatics ECM ready for Microsoft SharePoint 2010
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News archive (in Danish)

News from 2010 - click here

News from 2009 – click here

News from 2008 – click here

News from 2007 – click here

News from 2006 – click here

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How we did it

Ditching internal email is easy. If you have the right tools for it. Exformatics ECM comes with an elaborate activity stream-based platform for communication integrated with the activity and project management solution. 

This means that you can comment, share links and information on the actual work your working on right now.

The activity stream is a communications tool developed with inspiration from social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN etc. 

Oh, you can use it in the mobile app for SharePoint ECM as well.

Get in touch!

For more information where to meet us in the near future or to book a demonstration etc., do not hesitate to contact us.

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