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Interruptions cost $588B

So says this article in Red Herring.

Unnecessary interruptions from sources such as instant messaging, spam email, personal phone calls, and idle web surfing cost businesses in the United States up to $588 billion per year, or 28 percent of a knowledge worker’s day, according to a study released Thursday.

Jonathan Spira, the analyst quoted in the article, says, vis a vis communications tools like IM, and cell phones:

“The answer is not to shut them off,” he added. “It’s training people in how to use them, and making knowledge workers and managers aware of the cost. It’s as incumbent on the individual knowledge worker as it is on a manager to manage attention to do the work.”

Awareness by itself is not the answer.  What’s needed is a method to rank, filter, and prioritize those interruptions — a me-centric communications model that puts control of communications back in the users hands.

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