New research has revealed employees can save 33 minutes and 36 seconds over a 40 hour week by simply using visual communications.
The study — The Value of Visuals: A Business Case for Visual Communications in the Workplace (PDF) — from TechSmith, a company specializing in video production tools for business, points out just how much companies can accomplish if they start communicating more visually.
Benefits of Visual Communication
According to the research, businesses can potentially unlock more than $167 billion in productivity by using visual content in employee communications. This includes screenshots, screencasts, images, videos and GIFs.
In an announcement on the official TechSmith website, CEO Wendy Hamilton explains, “We’ve always known that visuals are essential to the effectiveness of communication, and therefore are essential to instruct and inspire. The essential findings of this study are, first, that visuals matter even more than most assume and second, there is an urgency for leaders to adapt as employee demographics change.”
The research was carried with the participation of 4,500 office workers across six regions around the world including: Australia, Canada, — Germany Austria and Switzerland referred to collectively as DACH — the UK, and the US. The study attempted to measure how 125 office workers undertook three everyday tasks when communicated by visual and non-visual means. The tasks included uploading a post to a website, downloading new software, and filling in an expenses form.
When it comes to adding visual business communication as a way of increasing productivity while saving time, employees in the US will benefit the most because of the long working hours compared to other regions. The US also leads in internal business communications, which is why the research indicates better productivity through visual communication could add $1,721.80 of value per employee.
France would see the second greatest leap in productivity unleashing $1456.44 of additional value per employee. Finally, the study estimates businesses in the DACH nations would see $1399.30 in added productivity per employee, businesses in Australia an added $1384.70, businesses in Canada an added $1258.58 and businesses in the UK an added $1258.56.
In addition to the financial benefits, the report showed 67% of employees perform better with visual communication instead of text alone. The rate at which they absorb visual information is also 7% faster than with text.
When it comes to comprehension, adding visual content coupled with text increased accuracy by 8%, and using video over text increased accuracy by 6%.
Results led researchers to conclude when visual communication is used at the right time and in the right context it can potentially unlock 6 minutes and 43 seconds a day for each employee. This translates to 33 minutes and 36 seconds in a 40 hour work week and the equivalent to 25 days of added productivity each year.
Effective Business Communications
Small businesses now have access to more communications tools than ever before but choosing the right hardware, software and system can be a challenge. And effective communications between employees, customers, partners and other parties is even more important in an always-connected world.
What the TechSmith research points out is the need to simplify business communication to make it more effective. And adding visuals might just be the way to do it.
Agreed that a screenshot can save a ton of time when one person is having an issue and needs another person to help them fix it. Whether it’s my Mom who needs tech help or a client asking about something, I often have to ask “What are you seeing?” whereas a screenshot would communicate what I need almost instantly.
I think this study makes some great points. While you prove the point with a screenshot, the same could probably be said for a video tutorial, a GIF for simple instructions and more.
Small business should especially use video communications which can be accessed anytime to provide information to their customers.