Saturday, June 14, 2008

Silicon Valley Companies Study Worker Productivity

Link to June 14 New York Times article, "Lost in E-Mail, Tech Firms Face Self-Made Beast", by Matt Richtel.

The onslaught of cellphone calls and e-mail and instant messages is fracturing attention spans and hurting productivity. It is a common complaint. But now the very companies that helped create the flood are trying to mop it up.

Some of the biggest technology firms, including Microsoft, Intel, Google and I.B.M., are banding together to fight information overload. Last week they formed a nonprofit group to study the problem, publicize it and devise ways to help workers — theirs and others — cope with the digital deluge.

A typical information worker who sits at a computer all day turns to his e-mail program more than 50 times and uses instant messaging 77 times, according to one measure by RescueTime, a company that analyzes computer habits. The company, which draws its data from 40,000 people who have tracking software on their computers, found that on average the worker also stops at 40 Web sites over the course of the day.

[I received a "Service Temporarily Unavailable" message when I tried to access the RescueTime website. They also have a blog, but the last entry was May 15.]

The graphic below is included with the article.

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