A new survey carried out by document productivity company Nitro has found that one third of businesses waste time on document review and approval every day, clogging up colleagues’ desks and leaving workers idle. In fact businesses are losing up to 21% of their productivity as a result of poor document management.

The survey, carried out amongst 170 senior IT managers found that one in three employees had been forced to wait to continue on with their task while someone else was working on a document. The research also found that there is a significant cost to businesses due to the delays caused by a lack of document collaboration with nearly a quarter of businesses experiencing lost revenue as well as missed opportunities in winning new business.

Document related issues cost organisations the equivalent of €17,672 per employee over the course of a year. Extrapolating from these figures, the analyst firm IDC worked out that an organisation of 1,000 people would need to hire 213 new employees to make up the wasted time. Something as simple as getting a contract signed can take up to a week to complete due to approvals and amendments, leaving more room for error and the possibility of damage to a company’s reputation.

Other key findings from the study showed;

  • Outdated working practices were identified by 77% as the main sticking point to improving document collaboration
  • Around one-third (35%) of respondents said they wasted time on document collaboration issues every day
  • More than half (53%) said that the issues had left a poor impression on a client or customer
  • Almost a quarter (23%) said that collaboration-related issues had damaged the business’ reputation with an equal percentage reporting losing business opportunities as a result

Commenting on the survey results, John O’Keeffe, VP EMEA at Nitro said: “Businesses are missing out on an effective way of increasing employee productivity and cutting costs through efficient document collaboration. Having the right tools in place not only impacts positively on employee engagement and the bottom line, but also improves your reputation amongst customers and prospective clients.”

john o'keeefe

“Businesses are constantly looking for ways to reinvigorate their processes and cut down time spent on certain tasks. A good document collaboration and productivity tool ticks all the boxes for growing companies looking to get the most from their employees and save money in the process.”

There are three simple steps that companies can take to improve their document productivity:

  1. Educate and train employees to use technology to boost document collaboration and productivity
  2. Use eSigning to streamline and speed up the sign off process eliminating the need for printing (and with this can thereby reduce paper and printing costs also)
  3. Integrate desktop and cloud based technologies to ensure that employees can edit and share documents securely online