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Bad workplace comms waste creativity — and up to 57% of salaries

Nearly 60% of your payroll is covering the cost of employees sending emails, responding to IMs, and sitting in meetings — with the harsh truth that nobody is better off because of it.

  • Driving the news: A study from Microsoft shows employees spend 23% of their week in meetings, 19% using chat tools like Teams, and 15% sending and replying to emails. And the majority of leaders — 60% — say they’re seeing a sag in strategic thinking and innovation across their organization. 

This data should be a blunt wakeup call to every executive. Employees are stressed and stretched by inefficient meetings, vague goals, and a baseline inability to find the information they need to make progress. 

  • And while they’re waving the flag that they can no longer do what they were scouted, hired, paid to do — their jobs — many leaders are also failing to realize how much time, talent, and money they’re letting go to waste. 

So we put that cost into context: About $9,000 – $40,000 of each employee’s salary is being invested in their inbox. Scale that across an organization of 1,000 workers — let’s say your team is 10% executives, 60% mid-level, and 30% entry-level — and it’s a steep $18 million in salaries each year spent reading and writing email.

Table info

Now imagine making that 10%, 20%, even 40% better. Clearer, more focused updates. Fewer, but more effective messages. Communications that get to the point without sacrificing what’s essential — and still reflect the full spectrum of authentic human emotion.

You start to see...

  • Fewer ad hoc emails. Staff and stakeholders are already armed with the information they need to make smart decisions. They’d also both have more time and attention to put that information to work. 

  • Fewer, but better meetings. Strong, written prep gets everyone on the same page before they're in the same room. Once they are, you can focus on problem solving and moving forward, not catching up. 

  • More informed, engaged teammates. When time spent talking about work turns into time spent doing the work, teammates start to see the value and impact of that work — and become more connected to it.

How 500 + leaders are tackling this problem

Hundreds of leaders have told us a similar story over the last two years: They know they have to change. Inflation, economic uncertainty, and distributed teams are amplifying the need for better internal communication practices, but they’re not sure where to start or to evolve.

Yes, but: The ones who pushed through all used elements of Essential Communications Management to revamp their plans and Axios HQ's AI-powered software to make workplace communications 40% shorter, on average, without sacrificing any critical context. See how it works:

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