Automation, standardization and better training give employees valuable time for important tasks.
"Companies can increase their productivity by 25 percent in all areas." This is the result of our Office Study 2014, conducted by the Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung (GfK) on behalf of the Microsoft partner company empower® GmbH from Cologne. It is based on a survey conducted among more than 1,000 white-collar workers in Germany and reveals: The tool for increasing productivity is Microsoft Office - 92 percent of the respondents work with solutions such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Outlook on a daily basis. It is not so much the content of the work that offers potential for optimization. The biggest time wasters are found in the formatting work, for which knowledge workers spend more than a third of their working time with Office (38 percent). According to the study, a three-stage efficiency program consisting of standard enhancement, automation and intensive employee training can save time.
"Time is the most valuable resource in our daily work," says Dr. Thorsten Hübschen, responsible for the Office business at Microsoft Germany, commenting on the results of the study. "The modern Office should therefore not cost time, but create the free time necessary for strategic, collaborative and creative tasks." Nearly three-quarters of knowledge workers' daily work time (72 percent) is spent using Office. It is therefore an indispensable tool, as "The Great Office Study 2014" shows: 69 percent of all users would be "severely restricted" in their work without Office. They use Word, PowerPoint, Excel and the like to create documents, presentations and calculations, for their e-mails and as a communication tool.
Each year, every employee can save 443 hours working with Office
A simple calculation shows how great the savings potential actually is when working with Office, according to the study: "If an employee works 1,760 hours in a year, an average of 1,267 of these hours are spent on tasks that are completed with office software such as Microsoft Office. Targeted automation could save 443 hours. Or to put it another way: An employee would have 25 percent more time to spend on important tasks," calculates Stephan Kuhnert from empower® GmbH.
Working without Office – unimaginable
The solution to the time problems from the study authors' point of view is a three-part office efficiency program:
- Use of standard extensions (add-ins)
- Development and implementation of specific macros and add-ins as well as
- Intensive employee training in all office programs.
"The study shows that Microsoft Office has become indispensable in our offices," says Dr. Hübschen. " However, it also shows the potential for optimization in the software itself, which we are leveraging together with partner companies such as empower® GmbH."
This is also confirmed by end-user companies such as Siemens, BMW, Evonik, Nestlé, RTL, RWE, Standard & Poor's, Volkswagen, and Continental: "We have aligned Microsoft Office with the typical activities of our employees through the empower enhancements, thus creating new space for more important work," says Thomas Röhrich, Head of Brand Communications at Continental AG. "This not only allowed us to save time but also improved the consistency of our brand presence - and all without a large investment in IT infrastructure."
Office everywhere and on all devices at home
"This is the very reason we opened up Office to custom extensions and customizations last fall with new tools and expanded access to services for Office 365 and Visual Studio," says Dr. Hübschen.
Microsoft Deutschland GmbH
Founded in 1983, Microsoft Deutschland GmbH is the subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation/Redmond, U.S.A., the world's leading manufacturer of standard software, services and solutions with $86.83 billion in revenue (fiscal year 2014; June 30, 2014). Operating profit in fiscal 2014 was $22.07 billion. In addition to its headquarters in Unterschleißheim near Munich, Microsoft Deutschland GmbH has six regional offices throughout Germany and employs around 2,700 people. In association with around 36,500 partner companies, it serves businesses of all sizes and from all sectors. Advanced Technology Labs Europe (ATLE) in Munich focuses its research on IT security, data protection, mobility, mobile applications and web services.
empower GmbH, based in Cologne, is the leading provider in Germany for software solutions based on Microsoft Office, which serve to increase efficiency and productivity in companies. As a certified Microsoft partner, empower® specializes in consulting and developing solutions for Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word as well as Access and has thus built up a unique competence worldwide. With its less than 100 employees empower® develops customized solutions as well as standard extensions for Microsoft Office. Among the reference customers are: Allianz, AXA, BASF, Beiersdorf, Bertelsmann, BMW, Continental, Evonik, Ford, Johnson & Johnson, RTL, RWE, Siemens, Standard & Poors, Volkswagen and many more.