A study of more than 5000 office professionals across the US, Europe and Australia exposes how antiquated business processes and out dated ways of working with documents are having a dramatic impact on productivity, efficiency and worker satisfaction.
The findings are detailed in Paper Jam: Why Documents are Dragging Us Down, a new report released today by Adobe that provides insights on the attitudes of business professionals toward how work actually gets done.
Professionals are clearly fed up with antiquated business processes. An overwhelming majority (83 per cent) feel their success and ability to be productive at work are slowed down by out dated ways of working with documents, and 61 per cent of professionals (69 per cent in the US) would change jobs solely for the sake of dramatically less paperwork. Further, more than a quarter of professionals (more than a third in the US) believe mundane tasks and cumbersome, inefficient processes are holding back their career advancement.
The research findings show that document-related tasks are more than a source of frustration: they’re a bottleneck to getting real work done. Fifty-five per cent of office workers (61 per cent in US) feel mundane and inefficient processes distract them from more important tasks, and 49 per cent of professionals (56 per cent in US) believe these inefficiencies stop them from doing their best work. Forty-three per cent of respondents report that the volume of e-mail attachments has made their work life more complicated, and cite not being able to find documents they know exist (82 per cent) and version control (78 per cent) as the most frustrating document problems. Forty-three per cent of professionals have lost important electronic information or documents, and 70 per cent of those losses were caused by a computer or hard drive failure.
People want to be able to access documents as easily as other forms of popular digital content today, yet documents lag behind other content and media types in going digital.
“Other content types like music and photos – and the ways we interact with them – have moved forward. Why not documents?” said Kevin Lynch, vice president and general manager of document services, Adobe. “The rise of mobile will exacerbate this document gap even more. This should be a wake-up call to businesses that their productivity is taking a hit and they need to do something about it.”
Respondents say that accessing important information from anywhere is a priority, whether for work (65 per cent) or personal use (60 per cent). However, respondents reported that only 6 per cent of their documents are stored in the cloud. Moreover, respondents say that 64 per cent of their photos are digital and the majority (57 per cent) of music is digital, but only 41 per cent of their documents are available and accessible in digital format.
People have embraced digital formats for other types of content in their personal lives, but they still cling to traditional paper at work. When asked about going paper-free for various tasks, more than four in five agree it saves time, is fast and easy. However, 76 per cent of professionals say they are reliant on paper documents at work and 52 per cent admit to being emotionally attached to paper documents. Further, people report feeling uncomfortable with the idea of having digital-only copies of important personal (55 per cent) and work (40 per cent) documents and 50 per cent of respondents believe they will still be reliant on paper at work five years from now.
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