More than half of Australian employees are close to breaking point as they struggle to cope with increased levels of information in their daily working lives.
According to new research by workflow solutions provider LexisNexis, information levels are at an all-time high, with Australia leading the rest of the world in the amount of data each professional is required to manage.
Marc Peter, director of technology and business development at LexisNexis, said the information boom, along with pressure from markets, shareholders and customers to hit targets, is leading to 'information rage' and having a negative effect on productivity.
“The implementation of information and communication technology (ICT) is changing the way we work, and the speed of this technology is dictating our expectations on responses and results. As humans we struggle to keep up [with technology]; the good thing with this research is that now we have evidence of that.”
Peter added that the research showed employees are spending more time on receiving and managing information than actually using it to generate outputs, leading to a direct loss on the balance sheet.
“It is employers’ responsibility to provide workflow tools as the extra pressure has a negative impact on staff morale and also the quality of work being done,” he said.
“In the professional services industry, if you bring graduates on board and they experience an unproductive environment in terms of how information is managed and the workflow tools which help them manage their processes, you might well lose them.”
The survey of 1,700 white collar workers from Australia, the US, China, South Africa, and UK found that ‘information rage’ is in large part due to three drivers: workers reporting feelings of frustration and dejection from the huge volume of information, the irrelevance of the majority of that information, and the inability of the systems and processes to manage information.
“It is worse in Australia because we don’t have the same level of effectiveness and sophistication in how we use technology as the UK and US in order to deal with high levels of information,” said Peter.