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Poor communication wastes 7 weeks a year, execs say

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Managers seeking the best ways to improve office productivity may not have to look beyond the spoken word, according to a new survey by OfficeTeam.

According to the nationwide survey developed by the staffing company, executives surveyed believe 14 percent of each 40-hour work week is wasted because of poor communication between staff and managers. That adds up to a total of seven weeks a year, stated a release from OfficeTeam.

Survey respondents were asked "What percentage of work time would you estimate is wasted each week due to poor communication between staff and managers?"

The mean response was 14 percent.

"Unclear communication not only results in errors and missed deadlines, but also lies at the root of many other serious workplace issues, such as low employee morale and poor job performance," said Diane Domeyer, executive director of OfficeTeam.

"Managers should invest the necessary time to ensure that project goals and instructions are free of ambiguity and foster an environment that encourages the open exchange of ideas," she added.

Domeyer noted that a complete lack of communication can be as detrimental to productivity as unclear messages. "Informal discussions, as well as brief weekly meetings to review the status of current projects, can prove invaluable in ensuring that everyone is working toward a common goal."

The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and included responses from 150 executives from among the nation's 1,000 largest companies.

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