In this digital age, more and more businesspeople communicate in writing. The conversations we used to conduct in person or via telephone now take place in email, instant messages, or through downloaded and attached documents. This communication flow makes precise, concise writing more important than ever and makes it harder than ever to get your message noticed or understood.In fact, poor writing doesn’t just get your message ignored, it can slow down the pace of business. According to a recent Communicare survey of Canadian workers, 58 percent of workers spend as many as 4 hours each day reading emails, reports, memos, and online text. That’s a huge portion of the working day. The same survey found that much of that time is ineffectual due to poor writing: 71 percent of the respondents have heard complaints about writing quality, 63 percent noted writing errors, 70 percent claimed lost productivity as a results, and 85 percent say poor writing wastes time.
Small and mid-sized businesses can ill-afford to function at less than full output. Internally, effective writing can make your workforce more productive. Externally, it will leave a positive impression with your clients and prospects because you won’t waste their time. The first step to recovery is admitting that there’s a problem. If the overwhelming majority of notoriously polite Canadians believe that poor writing erodes productivity, the real loss may be much greater. There’s room for improvement.