Is it unreasonable to say that black holes exist only in outer space? To the disorganized employee, peeved by their own mess, perhaps not. Piles at work lead to lost items.
The notion of an ominous vacuum that sucks up everything from emails to files to bagged lunches is not only a plausible argument, but a fantastic scapegoat. In an article by Clement Jones of IT News, statistical data depicts the chaos caused by an employee’s failure to locate information. Overall, the surprising results supports Jones’ main point that “the inability of many employees to find key files, emails or documents can cause stress, frustration, arguments and a bad atmosphere at work.”
From the article:
A survey by enterprise content management firm Tower Software found that a third of employees at middle manager level or below have been in such a position when stepping into someone else’s job or covering an absence.
Around 87 percent of those respondents have experienced a variety of negative outcomes as a result, largely because of their inability to find necessary documents.
Over two thirds found it ‘extremely frustrating’, while 40 percent became ‘extremely stressed’.
Nowadays, the choice to save easily-accessible snapshots in electronic form no doubt trumps the hardcopy filing systems of yesteryear. Yet, even with this revelation, there are still many professionals who lose correspondence simply due to a lack of organization. Losing information is unacceptable, but with sheer volume of data we absorb every day, it seems like its inevitable.
How do you keep track of all of the data in your life? Here’s a simple piece of advice: file everything as soon as possible. When information arrives in your desk or in your inbox, decide whether it needs to be saved (and put it in the right place) or decide whether it needs to be deleted (and do so accordingly.)
Furthermore, if you work with other people, develop a common filing system that everyone can use. There’s no need for multiple people to keep the same information in their own private archives.
After all, the article notes:
Some 43 percent of middle managers and 48 percent of junior managers have had to phone a colleague, customer or supplier to ask them to send a copy of a document or email because they could not find it on their system.
At AccelaWork one of our specialties is helping workplaces to get organized. Whether it involves systematic problems, process failures, employee training, stakeholder collaboration or any other workflow procedures, we can help. Reach out to the process improvement consultants at AccelaWork today to set up a consultation and watch the black hole in your office evaporate.