News | June 1, 2011

Office Workers Can't Find Files On Their Computers, Research Reveals

Costing mid-sized businesses as much as £700,000 per year

Over half (58 per cent) of British office workers have struggled to find important files or documents they thought they had saved on their work computer, according to research released recently by leading information management company Iron Mountain. With more than 60 per cent of all company information now carried on PCs and laptops, looking for lost or deleted files is a waste of valuable staff time, a burden on IT helpdesk resources and can sap employee morale.

The research, conducted by YouGov on behalf of Iron Mountain, supports findings by Butler Group that up to 10 per cent of a company's salary costs and a quarter of its staff time can be ‘frittered away' by employees looking for information. For a company with 250 employees, this means that up to 2,300 working hours a week – just under two hours a day per employee –are potentially wasted, costing the business up to £700,000 a year (1).

"Looking for documents can be extremely frustrating for employees as well as damaging for the business," said Richard Ellis, sales director, Iron Mountain Digital. "With more and more employees working remotely on laptops and struggling to deal with an ever-growing quantity of information, it is inevitable that documents will get lost–the consequence of a hard drive failure, the theft of a portable device or accidental deletion– resulting in anguished calls to the IT department."

"The YouGov research also showed that well-intentioned company policies on how to store and manage company information are not always getting through to the workforce," added Ellis. "The survey revealed that around a quarter (23 per cent) of office workers are unaware or not very aware of their organisation's data management policies, leaving the company vulnerable to damaging data breaches and security infringements. Having a professional and efficient data backup solution in place for business computers means that firms can implement these policies without having to rely on individual employees."

IT solutions exist today to safely protect and back up company information making it accessible through a secure Web portal. Such solutions have the additional benefit of taking the pressure off employees in terms of understanding and implementing the organisation's data management policies. This offers automatic data protection enabling employees to quickly and securely move data to and from their laptops.

According to Michael Shisko, director of IT at Hitachi Consulting, even the company's experienced consultants suffer from their share of data disasters. "On a pretty regular basis, we have machines coming back that need to be restored. So, from a disaster recovery perspective, Iron Mountain is being used on a regular basis, improving overall productivity since our consultants can easily restore lost data themselves."

Research Methodology
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2012 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 13 and 16 May 2011. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

(1) Costs estimate calculated using Monster/PayScale salary survey 2011, average salary by company size: 200 – 599 employees: £28,500

About Connected
Connected Backup safely retrieves and files company information that can then be accessed to replace deleted or erased files. Connected technology allows customers to quickly identify important documents using key metadata. Data ranging from a single file to an entire stored system through a secure web portal can easily be recovered if needed.

About Iron Mountain:
Iron Mountain helps companies take care of their physical and digital information assets, enabling them to keep storage costs under control, access records quickly and remain compliant.

It works with enterprises in financial services, public sector, healthcare, legal, retail, film & sound, energy & sound; and also with small and medium-sized businesses – no matter what their information management challenges are.

Iron Mountain employs 21,000 people worldwide and runs over 1,000 facilities, 10 data centres and 3,400 vehicles. It safeguards and provides access to over 425m cubic feet of paper records, 10bn emails, 65m backup tapes, 2.5m PCs and 20,000 servers.

For more information, visit

SOURCE: Iron Mountain