A survey of small and medium sized businesses (SMB) showed workers spend about half their day on unproductive tasks:
Knowledge Workers are among the largest staff component in a typical SMB
SMB Knowledge Workers spend an estimated 36 percent of their time trying to
Contact customers, partners or colleagues
Schedule a meeting
Approximately 14 percent of SMB Knowledge Workers’ time is spent:
Duplicating information (e.g. forwarding e-mails or phone calls to confirm if fax/e-mail/text message was received
Managing unwanted communications (e.g. spam e-mails or unsolicited time-wasting phone calls)
Note: I registered for access to the complete report but it does not go into survey methodology or indicate the sample size, so I would not consider this scientific, but it’s an interesting data point.
These activities are important but obviously they take too much time. Finding the right information faster can be addressed individually through frameworks like networked learning (personal knowledge management). Finding information, plus the remaining four activities can be made more effective and efficient through social networks. For example, the largest stated benefit of organizations using social media is increasing speed of access to knowledge (McKinsey 2010). Simple tools like Doodle can make scheduling a breeze. Social networks like Twitter or LinkedIn let you find the right people faster.
The ROI for social media in business is pretty obvious: reducing wasted time.
In addition, there is a huge performance benefit. Not only is there less wasted time but that time can go into learning.
Since +90% of our learning is not supported by formal instruction, the opportunities for using social media at work are evident – more time for personal learning as well as a medium for networked learning.