Email hasn’t changed in twenty years. This infographic reveals just how inefficient and time-consuming business email has become. Using statistics from the US Bureau of Labor, McKinsey Global Institute and the Radicati Group, we expose the ineffectiveness of the world’s most popular business tool.

The staggering cost of business email infographic

The staggering cost of business email

$1,790,454,120,000 per year. That’s over 1.7 trillion in salaries just to shuffle email around. Why?

Email hasn’t changed in nearly 20 years. It’s not just inefficient, it’s an enormous drain on businesses.

The average workweek

Role-specific tasks
18.3 hours
13 hours
Search and gather information
8.8 hours
Collaborate with coworkers
6.6 hours

You spend 637 hours in email every year!

The cost of email for business in North America

The cost of email per individual. $23.82 (median hourly wage)reference 1 times 637 (hours per year in email)reference 2 equals $15,173.34 (individual cost) times 118,000,000 (number of business email users)reference 3 equals $1,790,454,120,000.

How much is that really?

  • That’s enough to give every person in the U.S. $5,637.reference 4
  • That’s 13.4 times the wealth of Bill Gates, Oprah, and Warren Buffet — combined.reference 5
  • That’s roughly the GDP of every country in the entire continent of Africa.reference 6
  • It’s enough to get Sochi “ready” for the Winter Olympics 35 times (and still grease the palms of a few oligarchs).reference 7

1.7 trillion dollars could:

  • Buy everyone in Austin, TX a Bugatti Veyron (at a cool $1.7 million each).reference 8
  • Or send the entire state of Washington into space on Virgin Galactic.reference 9

Collectively, North American workers spend 75 billion hours in email every year at a cost of over 1.7 trillion.

The big question

What if we could shift just 15% of that time and money towards role-specific tasks — the things that help our businesses grow?

What if you could cut your time spent in email by 15%?

Brought to you by Contatta — the only collaborative email for business.


  1. Based on median earnings of $1,108 for management, professional and related occupations as reported by The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and an average workweek of 46.5 hours from McKinsey Global Institute.“Median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by detailed occupation and sex.”
    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (). Retrieved from
    “The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies.”
    McKinsey Global Institute. ()
  2. Average of 13 hours a week spent reading and writing email (assumes 49 weeks of work annually).
    “The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies.”
    McKinsey Global Institute. ()
  3. “Email statistics report, .”
    The Radicati Group.
  4. U.S. Census Bureau – U.S. Population
  5. Forbes – The Forbes 400 List
  6. The World Bank – GDP of African Countries
  7. CNN – Sochi 2014: Russia’s Numbers Game
  8. Google Public Data – Population of Austin, Texas
    Jalopnik – “Why the Bugatti Veyron Costs $1.7Million”
  9. Virgin Galactic – Booking
    Google Public Data – Population of Washington State

Copyright 2014 Contatta, Inc. All rights reserved.

Businesses lose an incredible amount of time and money to traditional email every day. Check out how Contatta’s collaborative email minimizes this cost by combining business email with collaborative workspaces, shared contacts, tasks, and files. While you’re there, take advantage of a sweet offer and discover how much more you will accomplish by spending 15% less time in email.

Download a pdf of this infographic.

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