office365_9When it comes to productivity software in the workplace, it is not surprising that many of our minds jump to software suites like Microsoft Office. Word is used to type up letters, draft contracts, create invoices, reports, and so on. Excel will be used to create spreadsheets to monitor project progress, accounts, staff leave, and etc., while PowerPoint is used to help create presentations.

Basically it makes sense because those are all activities that most firms engage in. However it seems that for the most part, a lot of companies are “wasting” money by purchasing such productivity suites, especially when such suites are pretty expensive when it comes to purchasing multiple licenses.

This is according to a study conducted by SoftWatch where they found that on average, seven out of ten employees weren’t making full use of the productivity suites. Instead they were using them mainly to view documents or light editing. This is based on a 3-month analysis of the use of the Office suite of software in 51 companies around the world that represents 148,500 employees.

The study found that the most heavily used software is Outlook, mainly because it is used to send and receive emails. Out of the average of 48 minutes a day that employees spend using Office, 68% of that time is spent on Outlook. This is followed by Excel at 17%, with the rest going towards Word and PowerPoint.

It should be noted that SoftWatch has agreements with google Apps resellers, which seems to suggest that the study could have been tailored in such a way that it would encourage companies and individuals to consider free cloud-based alternatives, such as Google Docs. However SoftWatch claims to remain agnostic but do take it with a grain of salt for now.

In the meantime what do you guys think? Are you finding that you don’t really use Microsoft Office as much as you should to justify its price?

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