In addition to mental health issues caused by the pandemic, the rush to adopt remote/hybrid-working has resulted in another potential hazard …

In a 2020 online survey of 12,000 anonymized respondents from Canada (2,000 respondents), the UK (2,000 respondents), France (2,000 respondents), Germany (2,000 respondents), Spain (2,000 respondents), Australia and Singapore (1,000 respondents each) about the impact of shifting to remote- or hybrid-working, a trend described as “information overload” was observed.

Since then, the number of information sources that remote-workers have to manage has increased, ranging from email, news feeds, diaries and social media platforms to company shared drives and various collaboration tools and platforms to bridge geographical gaps and an increasingly distributed workforce.

A March relaunch of the survey comprising 27,000 respondents and adding people from the USA, India, Brazil and Japan) this year revealed the following:

    • 80% of respondents experienced information overload, driven by factors including constant incoming information or too many apps to check each day, contributing to their daily stress, up from 60% in 2020.
    • 27% indicated they must access 11 or more accounts, resources, tools and apps on a daily basis to access the information they need, compared to 15% in the 2020 survey.
    • 46% of 2022 respondents indicated that they now felt equipped “with the right digital tools to work remotely”, compared to 65% in 2020.
    • 34% of respondents indicated they cannot access corporate file systems and content as easily when working remotely, while 30% indicated they cannot collaborate or share files with colleagues as easily when working from home.
    • 47% of global respondents indicated that they spent more than one hour of every working day searching for files or specific data to be able to do their job; 42% indicated that the information they needed was hard to find as it was scattered across multiple sites, files and apps, compounding the challenges such employees faced in a distributed work environment.
    • 87% of Singapore respondents felt that information overload contributed to their daily stress—up from 51% of respondents from Singapore in the 2020 survey.

The research, commissioned by OpenText, asserts that there is a growing need for organizations to eliminate data silos and simplify information management to ensure employees can access the information they need and faster.

This can be achieved through intelligent automation and information integration by modernizing enterprise content management (ECM) to not just grant workers easier accessibility to information, but also facilitate ways to configure the information in a centralized governance structure—so that an entire organization can consume the data with more flexibility, control and customizability, to extract more value and actionable insights quickly and with less noise.