Efficient file sharing secret to happier workplace

The inability of many employees to find key files, emails or documents can cause stress, frustration, arguments and a bad atmosphere between colleagues at work, claims research by ECM firm Tower Software

Its 'Document Mayhem in the UK and Republic of Ireland' report found that 32 per cent of employees at middle manager or below have found themselves in such a position when they have stepped into someone else's job role for the first time, or covered an absence.

Some 87 per cent of those respondents have then experienced a variety of negative outcomes as a result: 67 per cent found it 'extremely frustrating', while 40 per cent became 'extremely stressed'.

Almost a third - 29 per cent - have missed a deadline as a result; 24 per cent said it was bad for working relationships and 18 per cent claim it made them look bad in front of their customers or managers. Some 16 per cent said the issue caused arguments and 13 per cent said it 'created a bad atmosphere in the office'.

"The problem doesn't even stop when you are off sick or out of the office," says Tower Software vice president David Oates. "Almost half - 43 per cent - of middle managers, and 48 per cent of junior managers, have had to phone a colleague, customer or supplier to ask them to send a copy of a document or email because they could not find it on their computer system."

Oates adds: "In our fast-pace modern business environment, time is a precious commodity that most busy employees simply can't afford to waste. It's no wonder that colleagues with poor information management practice are causing office tension."

The sample covered an equal split of public and private sector organisations, with senior managers and general employees in organisations in the UK and Republic of Ireland (ROI). In the UK, 200 interviews were collected with organisations with 250 or more employees, and in the ROI 100 interviews were collected with organisations with 50 or more employees. Respondents covered a wide variety of business functions, including sales, marketing, human resources, finance, customer services, operations and purchasing, and included senior management level executives. www.towersoft.com/emea.

Image: Inefficient file management can cause arguments and is bad for working relationships

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