The Cost of Poor Writing: AU$14.75 billion each year

The average full-time employee in Australia is likely to spend about 15 minutes each working day wrestling with poor writing in the workplace. This is the time taken:

  • trying to work out what is meant in documents they have to read (in emails, memos, reports etc.)
  • sending emails or making phone calls seeking clarification and
  • wading through convoluted, verbose and redundant writing.

Fifteen minutes might not sound a lot, but it equates to 3% of an employee's paid time.

The average salary of full-time employees in Australia (as at 2010) was $68,000. Three per cent thus equates to $2,040 per employee per year wasted in trying to decipher and wade through poor writing.

  What is your company wasting per year?

Take the number of your full-time employees and multiply by $2,040. For example, if you have 100 employees, the productivity wasted due to poor writing is at least $204,000.

We say at least $204,000 because the calculation does not take into account the time wasted when employees struggle with their own writing, taking two or three times longer to draft a report than someone skilled in writing. Nor does the calculation take into account part-time employees.

Can you afford not to send your employees on a writing course? [ Details of our courses]

  What is Australia wasting per year?

There are approximately 7.2 million full-time employees in Australia. Thus 15 minutes per day wasted trying to tease the meaning out of poorly worded documents equates to a staggering waste of $14.75 billion per year.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics


  For more information, call 1800 601 116 (a free call).