Study Reveals That 83% of Knowledge Workers Lose Time to Document Versioning Issues Each Day
Poor document collaboration practices are very expensive, time-consuming and the source of much frustration, according to Perforce Software, which commissioned an independent survey of business professionals. Conducted online by Harris Interactive, the survey of 1,004 knowledge workers in the United States and United Kingdom shows that document collaboration problems in the workplace are pervasive, frustrating and the cause of costly productivity issues—even when document sharing tools are in place. It also indicates that these issues have far-reaching consequences, including missed business opportunities, damaged reputations and poor impressions on colleagues and customers.
Known by Few, Felt by Most
While less than half (45 percent) of knowledge workers are familiar with the term “version issues,” the survey found that more than four in five (83 percent) lose or waste time each day from these problems.
Searching their hard drives or email inboxes for the most up-to-date or correct file (73 percent)
Having to wait while someone else finishes working on a document (59 percent)
Manually reviewing documents to sort out the changes from one or more contributors (56 percent)
Working on a document, only to realize after some time that it was the wrong or outdated file (47 percent)
Interestingly, of the 69 percent of knowledge workers whose companies use a document management or file sharing service, about 9 in 10 still experience document versioning issues (86 percent and 90 percent, respectively), indicating that existing solutions do little to solve these problems.
More Time-Consuming than Spam, More Frustrating than Parking Tickets
The survey found that document versioning issues are productivity killers. They combine (75 percent) to have an impact on productivity for a higher percentage of knowledge workers than:
Not having network access (71 percent)
Dealing with spam and junk mail (59 percent)
Leaving a mobile phone at home (34 percent)
In addition, 81 percent report having worked on the wrong version of a document or spent too much time looking for the right file. Of those, 29 percent stop working on a project altogether or leave work early when they realize all the time they’ve wasted. Other startling responses include:
Yell at their computers (33 percent)
Think about heading to the nearest bar or pub (21 percent)
Throw something (12 percent)
Banged their heads against their desks (12 percent)
Worldwide IT Spending on Pace to Reach $3.8 Trillion in 2013
Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.8 trillion in 2013, a 4.1 percent increase from 2012 spending of $3.6 trillion, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. Currency effects are less pronounced this quarter with growth in constant dollars forecast at 4 percent for 2013.
The Gartner Worldwide IT Spending Forecast is the leading indicator of major technology trends across the hardware, software, IT services and telecom markets. For more than a decade, global IT and business executives have been using these highly anticipated quarterly reports to recognize market opportunities and challenges, and base their critical business decisions on proven methodologies rather than guesswork.
Worldwide devices spending (which includes PCs, tablets, mobile phones and printers) is forecast to reach $718 billion in 2013, up 7.9 percent from 2012. Despite flat spending on PCs and a modest decline in spending on printers, a short-term boost to spending on premium mobile phones has driven an upward revision in the devices sector growth for 2013 from Gartner's previous forecast of 6.3 percent.
The outlook for 2013 for data center systems spending is forecast to grow 3.7 percent in 2013, down 0.7 percent from Gartner's previous forecast. This reduction is largely due to cuts to the near-term forecast for spending on external storage and the enterprise in the economically troubled EMEA region.
Worldwide enterprise software spending is forecast to total $297 billion in 2013, a 6.4 percent increase from 2012. Although the growth for this segment remains unchanged from Gartner's previous forecast, this belies significant changes at a market level, as stronger growth expectations for database management systems (DBMS), data integration tools and supply chain management compensate for lower growth expectations for IT operations management and operating systems software.
While the outlook for IT services remains relatively unchanged since last quarter, continued hesitation among buyers is fostering hypercompetition and cost pressure in mature IT outsourcing (ITO) segments and reallocation of budget away from new projects in consulting and implementation.
The global telecom services market continues to be the largest IT spending market and will remain roughly flat over the new several years, with declining spending on voice services counterbalanced by strong growth in spending on mobile data services.
According to the third annual professionalism poll conducted for the Center for Professional Excellence, professionalism is more prevalent in existing employees than in new hires. Consistently, managers were less likely than the HR respondents to report a lack of professionalism. When managers specified the employee segments that most lack professionalism, they pointed to younger employees. The generation gap in behaviors and expectations discovered in earlier studies continues with this study.
Despite the apparent generation gap, the majority of both managers and HR respondents feel that the definition of what is professional should not be subject to change. The attitude appears to be that young employees should learn to conform to current standards of professionalism rather than the standards being modified in response to larger societal changes.
The predominant qualities associated with professionalism are: interpersonal skills, appearance, communication skills, time management, confidence, being ethical, having a work ethic, and being knowledgeable.
The quality of Interpersonal skills involves several dimensions. It includes etiquette, being courteous, showing others respect, and behavior that is appropriate for the situation. Similarly, time management encompasses being punctual as well as using one’s time efficiently.
The differences that exist between HR and manager respondents are predictable. Managers more often than HR respondents name work ethic (managers, 32.7% vs. HR, 14.2%) and time management (managers, 27.2% vs. HR, 20.8%) as qualities of the professional. Managers are more likely to see these qualities in existing employees than HR professionals are to experience them in the interview process.
The qualities that define being unprofessional tend to be the mirror image of the qualities of the professional. Again, managers name the same qualities as do the HR respondents. The qualities named most often as unprofessional by both types of respondents are: inappropriate appearance, lack of dedication, poor work ethic, sense of entitlement, disrespect, poor communication skills, unfocused, and a poor attitude.
Again, the differences that do exist between HR and manager respondents are understandable. Managers are notably less likely to mention sense of entitlement (managers, 9.1% vs. HR, 22.7%) and communication skills (managers, 11.2% vs. HR, 21.0%). A sense of entitlement is probably more apparent during an employment interview than once the person is hired. Someone with poor communication skills may get no further than an interview.
State of Professionalism
For a sizable percentage of respondents, the state of professionalism in employees has decreased over the past five years. A third of the HR respondents (33.1%) and a fifth of the managers (21.2%) feel this way.
The good news is professionalism has increased for 16.0% of the HR respondents and 27.2% of the managers. This could be one good result of a bad economy. When asked why they believe the presence of professionalism has increased, respondents most often observe that the poor economy and consequent downsizing has increased the pool of applicants from which to choose.
After two years when nearly 40% of the HR respondents indicated that IT abuses have increased, the percentage feeling this way has increased to 51.8% this year. About a third of the managers (34.3%) report an increase in IT abuses. Comments by the managers suggest that, while this problem encompasses most of the workforce, it is still the younger employees who are most likely to be engaging in this behavior.
The IT problems being witnessed are similar for both HR and manager respondents. The most common abuses are excessive twittering/Facebook (managers, 79.4%; HR, 82.5%), inappropriate use of the Internet (managers, 86.9%; HR, 78.1%), text messaging at inappropriate times (managers, 79.4%; HR, 81.9%), and excessive cell phone usage for personal calls (managers, 64.5%; HR, 65.0%).
Worst Problems in New Employees
Managers were asked about the worst problems they see in new employees once they are hired and working. The four mentioned by a fifth or more of the managers are: lack of urgency in getting a job done (32.6%), a sense of entitlement (27.2%), poor performance coupled with a mediocre work ethic (23.0%), and poor attendance (22.2%). Often cited with the lack of urgency was employees exercising poor time management.
The final set of mistakes examined was activities or shortcomings that can lead to an employee’s dismissal. For both HR professionals (50.7%) and managers (43.6%), the most common factor that causes an employee to be fired relates to attendance. Poor attendance includes being tardy, leaving early, and numerous absences.
How many IT professionals does it take to fix an issue? The answer is five, working a combined average of 100 hours a week to fix unexpected IT issues, proving why IT continues to focus on IT efficiency.
One IT professional averages 20 unexpected issues per week, putting out fires such as dealing with network slowdowns/outages, poor performing applications, unanticipated change requests, or equipment failures according to a survey by independent market research firm Kelton Research commissioned by TeamQuest Corporation.
Daily business hiccups affect the efficiency and productivity of IT. Dynamic IT environments demand that IT use its resources wisely as business leaders focus on exploiting the benefits of cloud computing and virtualization to better serve customers and boost profitability.
One of the presumed benefits of the cloud is freeing IT staff to work on strategic initiatives such as planning for cloud initiatives or understanding the risks associated with BYOD. However, with 30% of an IT organization's time spent on maintenance and mundane tasks, companies too often compensate by over-provisioning, wasting energy and money. IT is faced with a growing service demand from the business and consumers.
Study Reveals Talent Squeeze is Globalizing; Shortage, Motivation and Retention of Talent Emerge as Top Challenges
Despite stubbornly high unemployment, with recent reports of job gains showing a modest decline in the U.S. unemployment rate, human resource (HR) professionals around the globe have continued concerns about attracting and retaining top talent. This talent paradox, combined with dynamics of four distinct generations in the global workforce, points to the need for more effective and adaptable talent strategies and rewards programs.
The 2013 "Top Five Global Employer Rewards Priorities Survey" from Deloitte, the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (ISCEBS) and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans reveals that HR leaders across the globe are acutely focused on talent as the top challenge and priority over the next three years. Approximately one in four respondents from all geographies surveyed, including the Americas (24 percent), EMEA (28 percent) and Asia-Pacific (24 percent) cited finding, motivating and keeping talent as their top priority.
Top Five Priorities
"The Top Five Global Employer Rewards Priorities Survey" series is an annual barometer of talent and rewards management challenges. Conducted globally for the first time this year, 27 different countries ranked the top five priorities for 2013:
1. The ability of reward programs to attract, motivate and retain employees
2. Clear alignment of Total Rewards strategy with business strategy and brand
3. Motivating staff when pay increases are flat or non-existent
4. The cost of providing benefits to employees
5. Demonstrating appropriate return on investment for reward expenditures
6. The ability of reward programs to attract, motivate and retain employees
Retirement Security: A 21st Century Retention Strategy?
From a personal employee perspective, retirement continues to be top of mind. Two-thirds (66 percent) of U.S. respondents ranked their ability to afford retirement as their top concern. This issue is so deeply felt that more than one in three U.S. employees (34 percent) plan on delaying their retirement age. This is in contrast to other regions, including EMEA where a triple dip recession looms. There, 16 percent of employees say they plan on delaying retirement and similarly in Asia, 17 percent indicate plans to delay retirement as well.
Generational Considerations: Rewards Tailored to Career Stages
The report highlights the challenges of addressing the needs of a diverse range of generations. Workforces in China, the U.S. and most of Europe are aging, while others, such as those in India and Brazil, are seeing a high influx of young employees. These changes are putting a strain on companies and their leadership to identify and implement effective rewards programs as each generation is marked with distinct values and expectations. This is reinforced by the finding that only 61 percent of global respondents either somewhat agree or strongly agree that their organization’s leadership team understands the differing generational values in the workforce; more than one in four respondents (28 percent) indicate their organization does not have the correct Total Rewards strategy in place to recruit and retain the talent needed in their workforce.