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Use This Popular Tool to Maximize Productivity During Employee Downtime What if there was a way for business leaders to recoup lost time, to stem the steady flow of dollars in lost productivity?

By Jen Grogono

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Have you ever considered the real cost of employee downtime? For organizations with a large number of remote employees such as sales reps, field service agents and even commuters, thousands of expensive hours are wasted every month behind a windshield.

Related: 5 Podcasts That Are a Must for a Productive Workday

Using simple math, a salesperson at a large global technology company may spend conservatively eight hours per month in transit. Extrapolate that to a team of 5,000 reps and that's 480,000 hours of downtime per year. If the average annual cost of those employees is $100,000, the business loses millions worth of productivity every month! (And that doesn't even account for the effect downtime has on sales performance and the number of transactions each rep can handle.)

What if there was a way for business leaders to recoup that lost time, to stem the steady flow of dollars in lost productivity? What if the solution was something their employees loved and appreciated?

Private corporate audio channels and podcasting might just be the answer. Here's why.

Audio is now the fastest growing and most popular medium.

Edison Research's Infinite Dial report annually measures the use of digital media in America. In 2018, the report showed the use of social media, including Facebook and Twitter, declining for the first time, and the use of YouTube as relatively flat. The use of podcasting, on the other hand, continued to climb. This year's report estimates that 73 million people are listening to podcasts every month. With a mobile phone in everyone's pocket, audio has quickly become the preferred channel for news, staying current, learning about interesting topics and increasingly even entertainment.

Related: Every Business Owner Should Listen to These 3 Very Non-Business (But Very British) Podcasts

History has taught us that important consumer technologies always find their way into the enterprise. Podcasting is no exception. With the clutter of unread emails, corporate portals and intranets for everything under the sun, it's no wonder that enterprise leaders and communications professionals are finding it next to impossible to keep teams connected, informed and well-aligned. Just as iMessage paved the way for Slack in the enterprise, so too have podcasting and media-on-demand given businesses a way to meet their employees where they are.

Streaming media establishes "communication accountability."

One of the great advantages of audio visual content is that it's delivered as a stream and played back to an individual in a desktop or mobile application. This makes it inherently measurable in ways that static files like PowerPoint, word or PDFs are not. For instance, podcast data tells us exactly when and where a secure stream is started, paused, stopped, rewound,or shared. That gives corporate leaders and content creators an enormous about of content data they have never had before down to the individual who played a podcast and how much time was spent listening. Forget quizzes, focus groups and "clicks" as proxies for whether your message is getting through. Podcast data gives companies the ultimate feedback loop and real metrics for showing a return on their content investments, not to mention the right data to optimize messages.

Related: 5 Podcasts Every Entrepreneur Should Download Today

Mobile audio communication makes your workforce happier.

From the ability to multi-task to the ease and convenience of having company information in your pocket, sales teams can discover hours of productivity they didn't realize existed. Bestselling author and business guru Seth Godin likens audio stories to self-driving cars. The work is done for you. No need to move your eyes down a page or flip from slide to slide. Consuming and sharing audio messages in a podcast is effortless. And that takes a whole lot of friction out of the learning process altogether, which can on the whole make for a more pleasant experience and a happier workforce.

Executives are beginning to discover the many benefits of using private audio channels such as podcasting to reduce workforce downtime in a more modern way. After all, anything that can maximize productivity in the face of our fast-paced and increasingly global and mobile teams is a big win.

Is private podcasting something your organization could benefit from?

Jen Grogono

CEO, uStudio Inc.

As CEO of uStudio Inc., Jen Grogono leads company vision and strategy for a new generation of software products that help companies use podcasting, live streaming and on-demand media to radically improve employee productivity, increase sales velocity and transform customer relationships.

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