It’s pretty safe to say that email is by far the most-used tool for communicating in business. People don’t get up from their chairs to have a face-to-face conversations with people in their same office. With more and more people working as part of distributed teams, email, chat, and video messaging are the only ways for teams to stay in contact.
An article from the Washington Post reveals employees spend 28 percent of work hours, approximately 13 hours a week, reading and sending email.
A 2014 article from The Guardian based on a study from the Harvard Business Review doesn’t mince words and opines that meetings are a “soul-sucking waste of time.”
Now that flexible work hours are common and our smartphones are tapped into our work accounts, it’s not unusual to receive email all hours of the night, and feel pressure to respond immediately. As a result, companies are falling over themselves to make work more efficient so people actually have an opportunity to step away from the computer and enjoy life.
There are plenty of apps and programs available to help track and manage time, but it’s hard to make an individual shift in time management stick when company culture is in email-and-meeting-mode all the time.
This is where Seattle-based VoloMetrix comes in.
VoloMetrix offers an SAAS platform that sits on top of email and calendars to scrape information. The web-based service collects data points to track how much time a person spends on email, in meetings, and completing redundant processes.
The company’s chief revenue officer, Natalie McCullough, says VoloMetrix provides analytics to managers that show where wasted time is being spent in order to drive efficiency and productivity.
McCullough joined the VoloMetrix team in March, and said the service held personal interest for her.
“It really just resonated because getting bogged down in meetings, getting stuck behind your computer, and doing email makes jobs not fun,” McCullough says. “So if our solution can improve that for individuals, then I have a lot of personal excitement about that, and making the work [operate efficiently] is more fun for everybody.”
Peter Cullen joined VoloMetrix as chief privacy adviser to ensure that while the software is scraping data points, content and confidential information remains safe.
“VoloMetrix has spent a lot of time analyzing the collection and control of its [data] use and does so within a model that says the customer has total control over what information we get, how we use it, and how it’s protected,” Cullen says.
Tracking time is not a new phenomenon in business: lawyers, designers, engineers, and accountants have been doing it for decades. But a lot of the problem stems from self-reporting. It’s possible people aren’t honest in reporting their time, but more likely, it’s simply a hard thing to do accurately.
“Companies would hire consultants to solve these problems, and one of the things [they] often did was analyze how people spent their time. It’s incredibly laborious, and it’s self-reported information. At the end of the day, the data you find is not very reliable,” McCullough says.
VoloMetrix is leading the tech community in offering data-driven results in a hotly competitive market.
“Driving visibility into how people actually use their time in collaboration with other people, in the network that they create inside and outside their organization, from their managers to peers, to the amount of time they spend in meetings and on their email,” McCullough says. “To be able to provide companies this turn-key visibility about how people are working is just change capability. That’s why I think it’s an enormous market opportunity. If we can drive even a few percentage points and improve how that labor market, there’s huge value we’re creating.”