The Hidden Costs of Waiting for PCs

We are paying to wait.

System Performance is directly related to your return on investment. If you stop to think about it, every time you ask a computer to do anything and you have to wait for it to comply, you are wasting time. Yes, we get used to it fairly quickly so don’t notice that much, but if you count all the seconds waiting for programs and files to open, browsers to load tabs and even the time it takes to switch between applications it adds up quickly. That waiting time isn’t productive. We aren’t being creative or productive in those seconds, we are only waiting. And, we are paying to wait. Nothing stops while your employees wait for their computers. You don’t stop paying them; the electric bill and rent don’t pause. But, how much does a few seconds here and there really cost?

Let’s do just a bit of math. If you wait 5 seconds over the period of every minute for your computer to catch up with you (which isn’t nearly as bad as many situations we have encountered), that’s 40 minutes wasted by the end of an 8 hour work day. The United States Bureau of Personnel Management says Americans work about 261 days per year. That’s 174 hours a year each of us throw away waiting for our computers!

According to Loonwijzer-Monsterboard Wage Index, the median office employee in the United States earns $28/hour, gross. Multipling 174 lost hours times that wage gives you a net waste of $4,872 per year! Even at minimum wage (around $8 as of Sept, 2016) that number is almost $1400, which is still way more than the cost of a new office PC. And, that doesn’t factor in the rent, the electric bill and all of the other overhead for having that employee in the office. Suddenly investing in faster technology starts to makes great business sense.

When I first did these calculations I was surprised. But, my cynical mind immediately asked if this lost productivity was actually reclaimable. We have all seen arguments that try to convince us that if we just changed our behavior in some “simple way” we would get back x or be able to do y, and we respond, “I don’t think it’s that simple.” But, if you think about it, waiting for pcs is actually worse than the math suggests. These seconds are interrupting our moment to moment productivity. These are not like minutes and hours being shaved off of theoretical bathroom breaks or something where we may or may not turn that time into actual productivity. These are the crucial seconds that add hiccups to our most productive time. They jolt our creativity and flow and may cost even more than the calculations suggest since we are now spending these moments paused instead of creating.

Give Steel Town Tech a call for a discounted appraisal of your whole technological infrastructure. We can save you money, time and the frustration of having your technology work slower than you do!

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