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How much are your slow computers costing you?

Everyone's had to deal with it - a computer taking 10 minutes to start up in the morning, being able to go get your cup of coffee before Outlook starts up, watching that little spinning circle go around and around as a new program loads. The pain of dealing with a slow computer.

But how much lost productivity are these wasted minutes every day? The current estimated total of lost time is 5.5 days per year per employee, or 3% of their total time (based on an average 200 workdays per year).

While these figures aren't mind blowing, it's interesting to consider what this means in dollars and cents. Opportunity cost is an important variable here since it is typically double the actual cost (measured as the amount of time lost that could have been used to complete valuable tasks, like serving customers or closing deals):

Average salary: $60,000 Average hourly labor rate: $43/hour Time wasted due to slow computer: 2.75%

Yearly cost of time wasted: $1,892 per employee

Yearly opportunity cost of time wasted: $3,784 per employee

Total yearly cost of slow computer: $5,676 per employee

Even assuming this may be on the high end, this would usually more than justify the expense of putting computers on a regular hardware update cycle (typically around every three years) and investing in a quality computer for your employees.

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