Workers Lose Up To 100 Hours Searching For Lost Digital Files

13 May 2019

Lost Files

​The physical environment of our workspace has a significant effect on the way that we work. When our space is a mess, so are we. The same is true of digital documents left sitting in email inboxes or poorly filed folders. An international study showed that we lose up to two hours a week fruitlessly searching for lost digital documents.

However, digital clutter also affects us in other indirect ways. Research has shown that our environments significantly influence our cognition,  emotions, and behaviour, affecting our decision-making and relationships with others. Cluttered workspaces and desktops can have adverse effects on our stress and anxiety levels, as well as our ability to focus, our eating choices, and even our sleep.

Perhaps you are not bothered by overlapping items on your desktop, multiple folders or bunches of unread emails, but scientists at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute have learned that our brains like order, and when we have order it restores our cognitive resources, increases our ability to focus and process information.

There is a myriad of digital tools that are designed to restore order to your inboxes. For some, a simple digital filing purge of your folders, even just into one folder titled “archive” can be enough to keep that mental clutter at bay.

A clean desktop, organised email and a folder structure that is simple and easy to maintain and work with, will save you at least 100 hours per year but the gains for your mental capacity and productivity will far outweigh that time.

About Trojan

If you’re serious about building a team of productive, engaged employees, contact a recruitment agency like Trojan Recruitment Group and get advice from the experts in labour hire, permanent recruitment and contract staff.

https://hbr.org/2019/03/the-case-for-finally-cleaning-your-desk
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0013916518823041?journalCode=eaba
https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/dont-delay/201005/the-procrastination-field-or-why-i-finally-cleaned-out-my-fridge