Visual Communication Statstics Show Businesses Could Unlock More than $167 Billion in Productivity


Thanks to tools like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat, it’s never been easier to create, share and consume visual content. Every day, nearly two billion emojis are shared just on Facebook; two billion GIFS are sent through Giphy, and one billion hours of videos are watched on YouTube. The way we consume information and communicate has fundamentally changed.

Businesses have started to adapt customer communications — GIFs into emails and emojis into subject lines, for instance. But how many have considered the impact of these digital communication trends on their most valuable asset: their employees?

We set out to investigate how businesses are adapting to the needs of their workforce, and the potential financial and economic impact of visual employee communications. While we’ve long understood the benefits of visual communication on engagement and learning, the degree of impact this report revealed was a surprise even to us.

The Findings

The research found that by using more visual content such as screenshots, screencasts, images, videos, and GIFs in employee communications, businesses could unlock more than $167 billion in productivity over the six regions studied.

That’s a huge number, but what does that mean for individual businesses? Businesses that adopt more engaging visual communication could gain:

  • 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.

  • Over a 40-hour week, that equals 33 minutes and 36 seconds. When calculated for a year (230 days), it comes to over 25 hours of added productivity.

  • Businesses could gain up to $1,200 in productivity per year for every employee who consumes content as part of their jobs.

  • For a company of 500 workers, this could gain the equivalent of seven full-time employees — without hiring a single person.

“We’ve always know that visuals are essential to the effectiveness of communication, and therefore are essential to instruct and inspire. The essential findings of this study are, first, that visuals matter even more than most assume and second, there is an urgency for leaders to adapt as employee demographics change.” - Wendy Hamilton, CEO- TechSmith

Along with untapped productivity, there is a significant employee impact as well.

Younger workers are twice as likely as baby boomers to use images and video to communicate in their own time — and they are two times more likely to want more visual communications at work.

This is just a sample of the findings from this research study, which included the US, UK, Australia, Canada, DACH, and France. And the results varied across the countries we studied.

The Full Research Findings

To read the full research study and see how the countries stack up with each other, download our full report.

value of visuals research

The Value of Visuals

Learn how much countries and businesses could gain in productivity by adding visuals to their workplace communications.

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