What 5 Minutes of Interruption Can Do To Your Workflow

I think it’s safe to say that everyone agrees, time is money. Interruption in our tasks can add up very quickly. For example, a study done at The University of California by Gloria Mark, says that it takes about 25 minutes to return to the original task after an interruption. There are multiple studies that also confirm, distractions don’t just eat up time during the distraction, they completely derail any sort of productivity for almost 30 minutes afterwards.

Lets extrapolate this into a common work week for Josh…

Josh gets to work in the morning, he makes coffee and sits at his desk. Quickly he checks his emails and FB (naturally) before beginning any work. It’s obviously understandable that people aren’t just built to perform tasks all day every minute of the day.

Once Josh finishes his morning routine he starts working, he sees a document he needs to scan about an hour into his work day. He quickly walks with a fast pace to the scanner puts his document in, clicks scan and returns to his desk.  Now Josh knows that this scanner takes about 2-5minutes to actually show up in his scanned folder.

“…that’s always been this way”

It’s no big deal, this is something that’s always been this way, they tried to fix it a few times, unsuccessfully, so they just left it alone.

Josh knows the drill, it will take him about 5min to get those documents scanned in, he already developed a plan, anytime he hits the scan button he pulls out his phone and does a newsfeed scroll for about 5-10 minutes, to be on the safe side that the document has actually arrived to his inbox.

Just looking at this it seems as though at worse case, Josh’s productivity is only affected by the 5-10 minutes he used to scroll through his twitter news feed. However, this isn’t the case.

Having that interruption in his day has now resulted in him getting off track with what he was doing for the next 25 minutes PLUS the 5-10 minutes he spent waiting on that scanned document to come in.

Let’s say Josh uses that scanner several times/day, we will calculate what a typical month would Look like.

5 Scans per day X 30 minutes each X 5 days = 12.5 Hours Lost Per week, that is 50 Hours lost per month in productivity.

Lets take this a little further and define what the real costs are. Josh earns $65,000 year that is roughly $31 per hour and the work that Josh does generates the business an average of $50 per hour.

So if we were to do the math, Josh has just cost the business $4,050 due to a small 5 minute delay in a scanner that absolutely no one thought was a big deal. Its not Josh’s fault! The systems that are in place for him to use have this inefficiency that no one ever addressed.

inefficiency caused by it problems

“…5 minutes cost the business $4,050”

Now we can only hope that Josh was the only person that month using this scanner…

The scanner is just one example, there are many systems that could be causing distractions in employees’ day to day operations.

A good Managed Service Provider (MSP) will be able to identify these things during the on-boarding process where they learn more about the business and the overall work flow of the employees.

In order to be able to support any business, its crucial to first understand what everyone’s day of work looks like. For example, what devices they use, what software they use, how they access these resources and what are the pain points employees currently face.

A good MSP is able to identify these things and provide a roadmap with solutions on how to streamline processes, what systems and services can be improved in order to increase efficiency.

What a good MSP Should do!

Remember, the difference between an IT guy or a mom and pop IT shop and an MSP, is that an MSP is not just there to solve your computer problems.

A good MSP also seeks solutions to outstanding issues, and proactively identifies or makes suggestions to improve systems and processes.

Always go with an MSP that will be your technology partner vested in seeing your business succeed and grow!