How Much Does Your Slow Computer Costs You?
By Sergey Poltev,

Have you ever felt like you were waiting ‘forever’ for your computer to boot? Trust me, it happens a lot. The nature of computer systems results in spending some time waiting for them to respond, but how much time do you think you actually spend, and what does that time cost?

I recently came across a 2013 survey, which was commissioned by digital storage device giant, SanDisk. The survey explored how much time people spent waiting for their computers and impact of this “digital down-time.”

It found people were losing significant time each year, almost a whole workweek, to computer slowness. The survey linked this to sleep loss, negative mood shifts and frustration towards slow machines.

While I am skeptical of some conclusions SanDisk made, I know from the 10 years running the IT services across several industries is that both owners and their employees waste a shocking amount of time wrestling with slow computers. Slow systems not only cost you in terms of employee wage while they wait, but also the opportunity cost, which means the value of the work your employee could have been doing had they not had to wait. Assuming the opportunity cost is around double the employee’s wages, for a modestly paid employee ($50 000/year); this translates into $2000 per year per employee.

Even if your costs are a fraction of that, it still would make sense for your business to invest in up-to-date computer systems that are properly updated and configured. Ultimately, sticking with slower computers is costing you time, money and your employees’ well-being.

Sergey Poltev is an IT Solutions Expert for Small & Medium Businesses and an author of upcoming book “The Seven Deadly Computer Sins”. You can reach Sergey by email at

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