UK office workers waste over 1 million hours a week searching for documents

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Offices across the UK are so disorganised they are losing over one million hours a week searching for misplaced documents, that’s seven days a year for each worker and is costing UK businesses £20 million a year in wasted time.

Research from office product specialists, Fellowes, also found that half of UK workers have documents that are over a year old on their desks, with one in five even admitting they have paperwork over five years old cluttering their workspace.

Other workers blamed their company for office disorganisation, with 40% saying they waste up to an hour a week due to the colleague’s poor organisation skills.

It seems as a nation we are ignoring our own disorganisation as surprisingly, only 10% said their paper documents were very disorganised and it takes them ages to find what they need and 32% claimed they tidied their desks once every day.

However, over a third of people also admitted they would only purposely tidy their desk if their boss or a client was coming into the office.

It appears organisational dilemmas aren’t just dampening workers’ spirits. It is also affecting their output, with over 80% stating that an organised desk would make them more productive.

A further 50% of office workers believe their workplace design, environment and organisation has a positive impact on their productivity and 45% of workers said getting a promotion would be more likely if they had a tidy desk.

Darryl Brunt, UK Sales and Marketing Director at Fellowes, said:

“What we can see from the results is that there are too many shortcomings in the workplace when it comes to organisation in the workforce. An organised workforce is an efficient workforce, regardless of what sector they work in, it’s essential for the new year and a way to save businesses money in 2018.

 “Looming GDPR regulations should also be an incentive for employers to tighten their organisational strategies by encouraging workers to use filing and storage solutions properly and shredding any sensitive information which is no longer required. Ensuring client data is logged properly and stored securely will become a necessity come May.”

Here are some top tips to help you get you organised for 2018 from Bankers Box by Fellowes:

  1. A good filing and storage system helps you become more organised and productive, a perfect way to get your workspace back in order
  2. Use a Records Management System to understand what documents you need and where they should go. Are they active, semi-active, archival or disposal?
  3. Keep your documents organised and secure using an assortment of strong storage boxes for easy transport and file access
  4. Once you have organised your documents it’s always best practice to shred anything you no longer need
  5. Plan a file clear-out every six months to a year to get rid of out dated or unnecessary files

Getting your workspace organised means not only will it keep your desk clear and tidy but you’ll also find it much easier to locate important information the minute you need it. Bankers Box is the leading brand in document management, offering durable, functional records storage for every need.


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