From reviewing organization and processes to inter-office communication and workplace tools, the OPUSfidelis team works with companies to plan and strategize for maximum business success.. This week we’re examining new research that shows how using visual employee communications within a company may increase productivity and profit.

The Value of Visuals report released this month is based on data from 4,500 office workers across six geographies. Since people share billions of GIFs, emojis, and video every day, bringing visual communication into the workplace may be a profitable no-brainer.

[U]sing visual communications in the right moments could have a substantial impact on business performance, gaining more than $1,200 a year in productivity for every employee who consumes information as part of their role. This would unlock $167 billion in productivity across the six geographies we investigated — an average GDP boost of 0.52%.

The Value of Visuals Report Findings

The Values of Visuals report finds:

  1. In an eight-hour day, communicating with employees using effective visuals, such as videos and screenshots vs. plain-text email, could save each affected employee six minutes and 43 seconds
  2. Over a 40-hour week, that equals 33 minutes and 36 seconds.When calculated for a year (230 days), it comes to over 25 days of added productivity
  3. Two out of three employees carry out tasks better when communicated with visually vs. non-visually. Not only that, they absorb the information 7% faster.
  4. Employees don’t want a focus on text-based information sharing to continue and a third say their motivation levels have been affected by their company’s poor communications.
  5. Two-thirds (61%) of American employees want to increase their use of image-based networking, and more than half (55%) want more access to work-based social networks. As many as 48% even want to see an increase in GIF sharing, suggesting a more open culture when it comes to communications than the other countries investigated.

Visual Content to Integrate in the Workplace

Not sure where to start? Here are some ways to begin to integrate visuals in the workplace:

  1. Send screenshots to a teammate to explain a problem or idea
  2. Record a video walkthrough of a task with voiceover
  3. Include annotated screenshots in emails
  4. Encourage GIFs among teammates
  5. Conduct live video calls and screen sharing

We encourage businesses and nonprofits to experiment with how they communicate, collaborate and consume information as a team. The good news is that a few tweaks may go a long way. As the report concludes:

At a time when resources are stretched and the levels of disruption in business can be overwhelming, the good news is that the shift companies need to make when it comes to communications does not require a fundamental change to operations. With the right tools, knowledge, and leadership support, incorporating visuals into everyday processes is straightforward and unlocks productivity, creativity, optimism, and — as this study shows — profit.