Types of Waste in the Office and Their Relative Magnitudes
Wood, Douglas C.
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The issue of wasted time in office environments is two-fold: the lack of a functional model and the lack of measures of office waste. A functional model will clarify both measures and solutions, and dollar based measures will provide impetus for continuous executive support in solution implementation. To fill this gap , a survey was used to collect data on office waste in seven categories: meetings, wasteful distractions, messaging, arrangements (physical and virtual), health issues, engagement, and poor results and/or workflow. Demographic data allowed stratification by type of industry, manager level, and organization size. Summary conclusions are: The largest categories of office environment waste measured by cost are workflow, distractions, and messaging (including e mail). These differences are found to be different at a 0.05 level of significance. The costs of office waste is lower for non-supervisory workers, and higher for middle level workers, but not for executives. There is no significant difference in the cost of office waste by manufacturing vs. other industries, or by small- to- mid size vs. large organizations.