By Melvin Day, Managing Director
I read with great interest a wonderful article in The Register this week which measured how long employees spend looking for a desk and then setting up for the day in a hot-desk working environment.
From what seems to be pretty accurate measuring techniques by Harvard University no less, the answer is simply staggering: people on average look for a desk for… wait for it… two weeks! TWO WEEKS!
For those that are sceptical (which included me), the maths is simple. The daily average is 18 minutes, which extrapolated over 220 working day is 66 hours – so just under 10 working days of 7 hours!
As well as the frustrating amount of time involved setting up camp each day, employees in an open-plan environment reduced conversations by 70% whilst emails increased by up to 56% – the exact opposite of expected benefits.
After I thought about this for a while, I guess this might be because you’re sitting next to a new person each day so you don’t have anything to say to them, and the person you really want to talk to is behind Keith in Accounts so you email them instead as Keith is a bit of a grump.
Regardless of the reason, it got me thinking – what other ‘cost-cutting’ measures actually reduce productivity to a greater extent?
One example that springs to mind is that our marketing guy here once spent an hour in a board meeting discussing whether a new starter who was a single mum should get the £19k she asked for rather than the £18k which was on offer. He worked out that the cost of the six people in the board meeting for that 1 hour debating the request cost well over the extra £1,000 which was being asked for by the new starter over 8760 hours! Needless to say, he left that company fairly soon after!
What examples do you have? Please do leave yours by commenting below and I’ll reply individually to each!
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