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Office workers facing data overload

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Those who work in offices are being subjected to such a large amount of data that it is having a negative impact on their work.

This is according to a new study commissioned by Mindjet and carried out by One Poll, which took 2,000 members of staff into consideration.

It found that the average employee receives 36 emails every day with a third of these going unread, leading to stress and a lack of motivation in staff.

And it is not just from emails that office workers are feeling the pressure, as data comes at them from a variety of sources.

Five telephone or conference calls and at least one meeting are undertaken by the average employee every day.

The problem with this onslaught is the lack of provision put in place in order to deal with the data which is received.

In the study it came to light that 21 minutes are spent per day looking for data, which a worker knows they have seen, but cannot locate.

Over the course of a year these minutes add up and a total of two working weeks is lost, which is the equivalent of £1,248.51 if the employee receives the minimum wage.

Coupled with the time put into writing emails which are not read, this is an incredibly inefficient system and has a negative impact on the productivity of a company.

If more was done to help staff deal with incoming data then the time they save could be used in order to take on new responsibilities or tackle tasks which always get put on a back burner.

The survey showed only 20 per cent of workers had any time to devote to social media, which is emerging as important for businesses.

Two thirds of respondents said the amount of data had a negative impact on their work and one in ten reported enjoying their jobs less because of it.

Conversely, those mobile workers who work from home can find the pressure from mountains of data means they check their emails even when they are not technically at work.

Devices such as BlackBerry phones mean mountains of emails are not waiting when workers return to the office, but do make the work-life balance more precarious.

Chris Harman, of Mindjet, said: “The way we have to work today involves assimilating information from many sources and the fact we’re struggling to do this is a very real business issue – one that will only increase as we enter the big data era. “