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Ferris Research Shows That Company Policies On Email Use Can Measurably Improve Staff Productivity.

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Companies that encourage employees to limit the personal use of email and shorten distribution lists and indiscriminate copying can achieve measurable increases in productivity, according to a new study from Ferris Research, a market research firm that specializes in computer network technologies that help people communicate with each other.

"Quantifying the Productivity Gains of Email" is the title of a study that, for the first time, quantifies productivity improvements that result from the use of email by a typical office worker. The financial model, which itemizes gains and losses, shows that for most office staff, productivity gains of 15% are realizable. Those gains can reach 20% if management takes simple steps to train workers in effective use of email, including setting policies and culture to discourage personal use and excess distribution.

"Faster business cycles and improved decision-making are important benefits to an email-based office that are not readily quantifiable," said David Ferris, president of Ferris Research. "If you ignore the intangible benefits and focus on the quantifiable benefits alone, such as the time saved compared to processing faxes, filing documents, and playing telephone tag, you can document that email introduces clear, substantial cash savings."

According to Ferris, management can use this study to quantify decisions to deploy tools and programs to improve an organization's training on effective email use. "We've shown that policies and technologies regard email as a corporate resource can positively affect the bottom line," said Ferris.

In the study, based on information from 29 organizations, the total annual productivity gains for a typical office user due to email are 381 hours, or $12,919. Losses introduced by email (cost of the service and time spent dealing with junk mail, for example) are 115 hours, or $3919. This shows an overall productivity improvement of about 15% or net cash savings of $9000 annually. For communication-intensive jobs such as sales, the study shows productivity improvements can soar to 45%.

A summary of the report is at Free/sum/20000119SM.shtml.

About Ferris Research

Ferris Research is an analyst firm based in San Francisco, Calif. focused on computer network technologies that help people communicate with each other. The core underlying technologies are email, instant messaging, list servers, discussions, interactive conferencing, directories, group scheduling, and document management.

Business managers use Ferris services to enhance the way they do e-business. IS departments use Ferris services to make technology plans and to deploy more productive systems with fewer operating problems. Vendors of collaborative products or services use Ferris services to help with their business planning. For more information, see or call 415/986-1414.

Trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

(Note to Editors: If you'd like to see the full report Quantifying the Productivity Gains of Email, please call Ferris Research at 415/986-1414 or email
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 18, 2000
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