Spam Cost Companies $874 Per Employee

July 1, 2003 ( - While a can of Spam will run you $1 at the local supermarket, the annual per employee cost to your company is approximately 874 times greater.

When the average employee receives nearly 3,500 spam messages per year, it is little wonder that so much resources are being spent by companies trying to combat the problem. In fact, in 2003, the average lost productivity per year per employee is 1.4% due to the onslaught of spam, according to Nucleus Research’s “Spam: The Silent ROI Killer” report.

Companies have not been oblivious to the problem, with an average of one full-time IT staff person required for every 690 employees – just to manage spam and spam-related issues. However, the efforts are not without their flaws, as Nucleus’ research indicates companywide spam filters only reduce employee productivity loss by 26%.

“Companies have been quick to recognize the technology costs of spam but have been slow to understand the impact spam can have on worker productivity,” said Rebecca Wettemann, VP of Research of Nucleus Research. “The survey shows spam is slowly eroding the productivity of employees and the loss is only growing. Organizations need to recognize spam as a significant ROI factor and address this issue through spam filters and possibly with litigation. Given the current trend, one can see the day where spam materially impacts the productivity of many corporations.”

For this report, Nucleus conducted in-depth interviews with 117 employees at 76 different US companies, along with 28 IT administrators responsible for managing e-mail and other corporate applications. The full report can be obtained at .