UK workers are wasting one million hours a week looking for paperwork, according to new study

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Employees across the UK are spending over one million hours a week looking for misplaced documents at work, costing businesses around £20 million a year, a new study released today has revealed.

The research found that, on average, each UK worker spends seven working days a year looking for work documents. What will come as a greater concern to GDPR-minded employers is that half of those questioned admitted to having documents on their desk which are over a year old. Whilst 1 in 5 revealed they have paperwork over five years old scattered around their workplaces.

The study, by office supply specialists Fellowes, also found that a third of people only tidy their desks if their boss or a client was coming into the office. The reason for that could be because 45 per cent of people think they are more likely to get a promotion if they have a organised desk.

Darryl Brunt, UK Sales and Marketing Director at Fellowes, said: “What we can see from the results, is that there are too many shortcomings in the workplace when it comes to organisation. Looming GDPR regulations should be enough of an incentive for employers to ensure organsational processes are in check. Businesses should be encouraging workers to use filing and storage solutions and ensure sensitive information, no longer required, is destroyed before May – when the new regulation comes into play. Failure to meet GDPR processes could result in huge fines in the region of £20 million, which could be extremely damaging to any business.”

Half of all workers surveyed also believed their workplace design, environment and organisation has a positive impact on their productivity.