Majority of UK workers say it’s harder to find information while working remotely

New research has uncovered new challenges in finding information when working remotely for UK enterprise workers.

Alongside these challenges, the Sinequa-sponsored research found that knowledge workers in large enterprises now search for information 8 times a day, spending over 5 minutes each time carrying out the search – an average of 44 minutes a day spent searching for information, per employee.

The open plan office is designed to encourage the free flow of ideas and communication, but recent trends have been towards collaborating digitally. This move to digital workplaces has meant that 2020’s global switch to remote working went relatively smoothly for most organisations, but the downside is that conversations and documents are becoming increasingly scattered and siloed across systems. Finding the information that knowledge workers need to carry out their jobs is becoming harder than ever. Enterprises are increasingly looking to implement digital workplace solutions to help employees get their work done.

Challenges begin when colleagues go on holiday. According to Sinequa’s research over two-thirds (68%) of workers have struggled to find information they need when a member of their team has gone on holiday. This isn’t a new problem, however working from home has thrown up additional barriers for knowledge workers as they search for information.

Although 40% of knowledge workers questioned report being more productive when working from home, 59% of workers believe they could be more productive if they have better access to information. This is corroborated by a previous Sinequa study of senior decision makers that found 55% of organisations wish to implement digital workplaces in order to increase employee performance.

61% of workers say it’s harder to find the information they are looking for when working remotely. The top three reported reasons why it’s harder are:

  • The systems are slower from home (25%)
  • The information is scattered in lots of locations (24%)
  • I can’t ask my colleagues for the answer (24%)

Stephane Kirchacker, VP Sales EMEA at Sinequa, who commissioned the research, said: “In modern enterprises, it’s a challenge for employees to find the information they need to carry out their jobs. Our research found the average knowledge worker spends 44 minutes a day searching for information and, on average, has to access 5 different systems in order to find that information.

“While we are all working remotely, it’s no longer an option to ask your colleague sat next to you to help you find the information you need. Technical issues reported, such as slow broadband, should be overcome in time, but challenges around finding information needs a change in approach from employers. If enterprises can get it right, the opportunities are plain to see. The majority of respondents said they could be more productive if they simply had better access to information, meaning less time spent searching for information and more time achieving proper results for the business.”

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