With March Madness come and gone, employers can rest easy knowing that the basketball contest will not drain employee productivity again until next year. However, a more chronic factor for companies striving for high-performing IT workforces is the immediacy of access to learning resources for their professionals.
“Productivity is lost when employees spend hours sifting through mountains of information,” stated a Ridge Group study titled “Information Gathering in the Electronic Age: The Hidden Cost of the Hunt.” Organizations are only as good as their slowest workers, and searches for good information to complete job tasks are slowing down all workers. This can have a direct impact on businesses’ bottom lines, since “performance metrics for technology departments are based on time,” said the study.
And time is indeed lost to searching: Another Ridge Group survey from 2002 found that 100 percent of IT professionals interrupt their work flow at least once a day to look for answers to questions regarding their tasks. Twenty percent reported breaking at least 10 times a day to do so.
According to Dennis Kilian of Safari Books Online, “Typically what you’ll find is that people are out spending something like 13 1/2 hours a month looking for information [to complete job tasks].” This is time that a worker is not busy solving a problem, but rather looking for resources to help solve it. The lack of a good source for immediate answers creates a drain on productivity for workers such as programmers, Web…
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