Four in five (80%) UK respondents now feel that information overload is contributing to their daily stress, says new OpenText research.

Information overload includes constant information 24/7, pervasive social media or too many apps to check each day.

This compares with just two in five (44%) who indicated in a similar OpenText survey conducted in March 2020 that information overload contributed to their daily stress. 

As our work lives continue to spill into our personal lives with hybrid working, surprisingly even in 2022, less than half of UK employees (46%) feel they are equipped with the right digital tools to work at home. 

Even more surprising is that this has dropped from 66 percent at the onset of the pandemic.


An endless supply of information

One in four (24%) respondents say they have to use eleven or more accounts, resources, tools and apps on a daily basis. 

This compares with just one in seven (14%) who said this was the case two years ago, proving that the information people need to access resides within an increasing number of data repositories and applications.

In fact, due to the siloed nature of where information sits within organisations, more than two in five UK employees (41%) say that they normally spend, on average, one or more hours per day searching on company networks or shared systems for specific work files or pieces of information just to do their job.


How is information and data stored on computers?

Information scattered across multiple locations is another reason for the difficulties workers face, with more than two in five (42%) reporting it is hampering their ability to find the information they need to do their job. 

One in five (19%) feel that their colleagues not saving the latest version of documents to shared systems also hampered their ability to do their job, while one third (33%) feel that not knowing where to find the most up-to-date information also contributes.

Unfortunately, poor information management and these kinds of sustained challenges are having negative effect on employees. So much so that nearly half (44%) feel that it is having an impact on their mental well-being and stress levels.

In addition, two in five (38%) indicate it is having a detrimental effect on their performance at work, a third (33%) feel it is negatively impacting their overall job satisfaction and four in ten (39%) say that it is having a direct impact on their work-life balance.


Lack of effective information management tools

The lack of effective information management tools in many businesses is now starting to have an impact on what steps employees feel they need to take themselves. 

Whether they are told they can use them or not, almost a half of UK employees (48%) currently use personal file sharing systems (such as OneDrive, Google Drive, WhatsApp or Dropbox) for work related file sharing as a way to make things easier for them. 

Still, two thirds of those (68%) do it as they believe their company does not have a policy against it, despite the associated, elevated security risks. 

The global picture is yet more surprising with almost two thirds (63%) of employees across the globe indicating they use personal file sharing systems to share work files and almost three quarters of them (71%) doing so as they believe there is no organisational policy against it. 

Unfortunately, the issues do not end there. Hybrid workers in the UK feel that they face a broad range of other challenges with a quarter (24%) saying that they cannot collaborate or share files with colleagues as easily when they are working from home, the same number (24%) indicating they cannot access corporate file systems and content as easily when working remotely, while a quarter (25%) are struggling to carry between the office and their home the technology and tools they need daily just to do their job. 

Discussing the findings, Sean Durkin, Regional Vice President, Europe at OpenText said: “Right now, there is an urgent need for businesses to automate information management and governance, so that content can be captured and classified, so that retention policies can be applied automatically and so that employees can easily access accurate, up-to-date information without having to trawl multiple applications. Only by taking these steps can organisations succeed in reducing complexity and enable employees to easily collaborate with their colleagues no matter what device or application they use or where and how they choose to work.” 





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.