The secret to a happy workplace is ... proper file sharing

A new survey by enterprise content management company, Tower Software has revealed that the inability of many employees to find key files, emails or documents can cause stress, frustration, arguments and a bad atmosphere between colleagues at work.

The report, 'Document Mayhem in the UK and Republic of Ireland' found that around one third (32%) of employees at middle manager or below have found themselves in such a position when they have stepped into someone else's job role for the first time, or covered an absence. Most (87%) of those respondents have then experienced a variety of negative outcomes as a result. Over two thirds (67%) found it extremely frustrating, while 40% became extremely stressed. Almost a third (29%) have missed a deadline as a result, a quarter (24%) said it was bad for working relationships and 18% claim it made them look bad in front of their customers or managers. According to the independent survey which was conducted by Dynamic Markets on behalf of TOWER Software, one in six (16%) said it caused arguments and 13% said it created a bad atmosphere in the office.

David Oates, Vice President for Tower Software in EMEA explains, "The problem doesn't even stop when you are off sick, or out of the office. Almost half (43%) of middle managers and 48% 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 computer system. In our fast-pace modern business environment time is a precious commodity that most busy employees simply can't afford to waste. It's no wonder that colleagues with poor information management practice are causing office tension."

Seemingly more caring and conscientious, employees in the Republic of Ireland are twice as likely to become stressed or miss a deadline when they can't find the current version of a key file, and they are also 3-4 times more likely to suffer with a bad atmosphere in the office or strained working relationships. Overall, 39% of the employees in the UK and Republic of Ireland think that inter-departmental relationships would be improved with correct file sharing - especially among those that don't have the appropriate computer systems in place, 47%.

Tim King, Founder and Director at recruitment specialist Matchking adds, "An unhappy working environment can lead to a higher staff turn-over and low staff morale and productivity. While many employees like to be challenged and stretched by their job function, it's also important for them to feel valued, rewarded and able to do their work with optimum efficiency. Some of the basic obstacles described in this survey could easily undermine employee happiness."

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