Small to mid-size businesses have a dizzying amount options available to them these days regarding technology and services. Executives, CFOs, IT Managers and CIOs are constantly weighing out the pros and cons by outlining each option's features, benefits and costs. The alarming news is that many of them are missing out on one of the biggest cost factors there is...their time. The fanciest technology and most reputable IT service providers in the world are doing nothing for you if they aren't adding precious hours and minutes back on your clock. Here's an overview of just how much your lost time can cost you when dealing with IT issues.
Stuck in the Mud/Caught in the Weeds
There are a great deal of time-sucking technology monsters that intrude upon your daily life at work. You'll find yourself getting caught in activities (or perhaps more appropriately, inactivities) that chip away at your precious time-on-task, one minute at a time. Some of the most noticeable of which are listed below.
- Waiting for applications and files to load, upload or download
- Organizing, hiring or firing technology vendors (Internet, phone, printers, etc.)
- Contacting technology vendors for support or how-to advice
- Dealing with security issues like viruses, malware, spyware, etc.
- Manually performing tasks such as backups, updates, upgrades, etc.
- Spending time on social media and/or non-work related sites
How much of your time are you spending on any of these items listed above? Not sure? Keep a small notepad on your desk and mark down how many minutes you spend on any one of these tasks above each time your experiencing it. You'll likely find that this may add up to an hour or more each day. This becomes an even more substantial number when you consider this time per week or month. Let's look at this in terms of money.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average Los Angeles hourly rate for employees across all occupations is $24.84 per hour. That comes out to about $124.20 worth of time lost on technology issues each week or $496.80 lost each month! Suddenly updating Facebook as to the tastiness of your sandwich seems less important, right? Well, it was unusually delicious.
Your Staff's Time
Some quick multiplication: after considering how much of your time and money are lost on technology issues, apply that to the rest of your staff. It's common for the Office Manager, Secretary and others outside the C-Level team to spend the most time dealing with the trivial, yet time consuming technology issues. However, to keep things simple, we'll just apply the numbers above to a small business of 20 employees, which equals roughly $2,484 each week or $9,936 each month. Yikes!
While it may be impossible to eliminate every second of this time spent on technology, it is possible to implement solutions that cut it back significantly. Solutions like improved security, web filtering, vendor management, proactive monitoring and a host of others can dramatically reduce the amount of time spent on unnecessary activities. If you're not an IT professional, I recommend saving yourself even more time by reaching out to a local IT consultants or managed IT services firms to discuss your needs and develop some solutions.
Most importantly, whatever IT solution or service you choose to implement and/or manage your technology, just make sure it puts those precious minutes back on your daily clock and it will put money back in your pocket.
Got any other ideas on technology issues that can zap your time away? Let us know by commenting below!