Two weeks’ work in three hours?

Business technology has enabled today's small businesses to do as much work in one day as their 1966 counterparts managed in two whole working weeks, according to recent research.

Or to look at it another way, a working week in 1966 could be completed in three hours and 26 minutes using 2006 technology. These are the findings of Unicom, a telecoms and broadband provider, which compared today’s working practices with those 40 years ago when England won the World Cup.

‘We studied one of our own teams,’ explains Chris Earle of Unicom. ‘Taking all the administrative tasks that might go on in their office, it takes around seven hours and ten minutes to get through them. When we stripped out their access to technology, each task took on average more than 11 times longer.

‘Ordering something for the office supplies cupboard might have taken a 20-minute phone call, a manual order-take, five days for a cheque to clear, a wait for manufacturer to provide the supplier, then the delivery to the office.’

Other marked differences include:

  • Writing and sending a letter: 1966 – approx 50 minutes; 2006 – 15 mins
  • Ordering and receiving office supplies: 1966 – 104 hours; 2006 – 16 hours
  • Banking: 1966 – two hours; 2006 – 10 minutes
  • Getting hold of the boss while he’s abroad to have him make a decision: 1966 – 24 hours; 2006 – mere seconds.

Also see: Working from home – How to manage your time and increase productivity

Alan Dobie

Alan Dobie

Alan was assistant editor at Vitesse Media Plc (previous owner of before moving on to a content producer role at Reed Business Information. He has over 17 years of experience in the...

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