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    Home workers ‘missing vital digital tools’

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    The British public is struggling with ‘information overload’ as working from home becomes the norm, with one in three UK office workers saying they do not feel equipped with the digital tools to move to remote working.

    That’s according to research from OpenText, which reveals a lack of equipment is impacting UK employee productivity and stress levels during the coronavirus crisis.

    The data – from a survey of 2,000 UK respondents – reveals 34 per cent of UK workers with office-based jobs do not feel equipped with the digital tools to effectively shift their work to a remote environment.

    Additionally, ‘information overload’ is contributing to stress levels on a daily basis: 18% of respondents are stressed by ‘information overload’ across devices, 8% feel they can’t unplug and are dealing with information 24/7, and another 8% feel overwhelmed with too many data sources and apps to check each day.

    Almost half (47%) of UK respondents agree that the number of information sources – email, news feeds, diaries, social media sites, company drive, shared drive, etc – they check each day has increased in the last five years. On average, more than one in ten (13%) UK respondents now use more than ten accounts, tools and apps every day.

    The data suggests this ‘information overload’ is having a significant impact on both personal life and work. Just two-fifths (41%) of working UK respondents are able to limit the number of tools, apps and resources they access to complete a work project to three or fewer. In fact, a third (31%) of UK workers typically spend more than a minute searching for a specific file or piece of information for work purposes. Only a fifth (21%) can usually find the file they require in less than ten seconds. 

    While a quarter (24%) of UK respondents admit remaining motivated would be their biggest challenge if working from home long-term, one in ten (11%) say access issues would be the main problem – from accessing work emails to accessing corporate file systems and content. Collaboration is also a concern: 12 per cent say collaborating and sharing information and files with colleagues would be their biggest challenge. In fact, despite the prevalence of work applications and tools to check and use each day, a fifth (20%) of working UK respondents admit to having shared work-related files on a personal file sharing system, such as DropBox.

    “Poor information management has major implications for a business,” said Geoff Sheppard, RVP Enterprise, Europe, OpenText. “Employee productivity can suffer as staff struggle with access issues whilst security can often become an afterthought as staff look for workarounds. With data often residing in multiple, disparate systems, an organisation’s pursuit of a single version of the truth can become virtually impossible.”

    “The reality is manual classification and filing processes are error-prone. By implementing automation, businesses can make the most of their information and provide a seamless user experience for staff, customers and partners. This is even more crucial now as organisations adapt and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the business landscape.”

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    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien