Wednesday 18 September 2013

À la recherche du temps perdu -- and the cost of time lost

"I'm sure it's in there somewhere ...!"
This blogger has received a media release informing him that "the average employee in the Professional Business Services sectors wastes 1.59 hours a week looking for documents and information they have misplaced. The value of this on an annual basis is around £2.1 billion, or £40.91 million a week". This data has been compiled for information management specialists EDM Group, who would appear to have the envious task of making money from others' mismanagement.

Other findings from the EDM Group research include:
· The average London employee wastes the most time looking for lost documents / information at work (1.89 hours) every week, compared to N Ireland which has the lowest lost time (1.17 hours) 
· The average employee in healthcare wastes 1.64 hours a week doing this, which was the highest of five sectors reviewed (the figure for retail workers was 1.33 hours, which was the lowest) 
· 2% of the workforce – some 491,000 people – spend over 5 hours every week looking for lost documents/information at work. 9% (2.2 million people) spend between 3 and 5 hours every week doing this 
· One of the main reasons for this is that people now have to deal with far more data and material at work than ever before. 56% of people claim that they receive more information at work than they did three years ago 
· 18% of people claim that they have seen an increase of over 50% in the amount of information and data they receive at work when compared to three years ago.
The EDM Group says that this issue will get worse because the amount of information and data employees receive is increasing at a dramatic rate.

Though self-employed himself and inclined towards a paperless scheme for organising his own activities, this blogger probably spends more time looking for electronic documents than he should, not least because his own somewhat linear filing system depends on his remembering which of a number of possible names or designations he has given to his folders and files.  He wonders what experiences the readers of this blog may have in this regard, and how they deal with the frustration of knowing that, when they can't find a document, they have no-one to blame but themselves.

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