Donal Sullivan, Auxilion

Document management problems costing Irish businesses €3.3bn a year

Most respondents believe organisations will use virtual applications when pandemic restrictions ease
Donal Sullivan, Auxilion

16 August 2021

Office workers are spending an average of 21 minutes per day by searching for and exchanging documents, costing Irish business €3.3 billion per year.

The survey of 500 office workers conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Auxillion revealed that men waste more time per day on this activity than women – spending 25 minutes compared to around 17 minutes.

Difficulty gaining access to or finding work files and systems was found to be the third biggest blocker in terms of effective collaboration with colleagues, as a quarter (25%) of office workers cited it. The biggest blocker was not being able to talk in person (44%), followed by people not being as available as before (30%).




Meanwhile, 22% of workers said security concerns using communication tools is a main blocker to collaboration with colleagues.

Looking for and sharing files is not the only activity that takes up considerable time, with staff sending, on average, around 62 minutes per day on virtual meetings. Furthermore, this is unlikely to ease in the future with three quarters of respondents (75%) believing their organisation will continue to use virtual applications when restrictions ease.

However, 22% of office workers said they did not feel their input is as valuable in online collaborations as it is in person.

The study also found that 41% of respondents had a family member or partner accidentally appear on camera during a work meeting, while a pet made an appearance for 34%. A similar proportion (35%) of workers have done a virtual work meeting in their pyjamas, with 27% joining one while in bed. Some 26% have lied that their Wi-Fi crashed to get out of a meeting.

As for the most annoying virtual meeting habits, these were revealed as forgetting to go on mute (44%), always joining the meeting late (35%) and eating on camera (32%). The worst time of the week for a virtual meeting is Friday afternoon (36%), followed closely by Monday morning (35%).

In terms of the most popular collaboration tool, Microsoft Teams was the platform of choice with 59% of respondents using it for work. Although some 57% said they had not received proper training on how to effectively use their work collaboration system (like Microsoft Teams).

Speaking about the findings, Donal Sullivan, CTO, Auxilion, said: “There is absolutely no reason Irish workers should be losing so much time out of their day trying to find files and work with colleagues – and that’s not to mention the €3.3 billion it’s costing businesses. The tools are already out there to enable people to collaborate in real time, access files securely and swiftly, and realise the benefits offered by remote or hybrid working.

“Of course, staff also need to know how to use these tools effectively so there is an educational piece that companies need to address. But if they do embrace this type of digital thinking, backed up by the best technologies and the right strategies, it will not only empower workers but boost business output and support company growth both now and in the future – whatever, and wherever, their future workplace is.”

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