Person typing on a laptop while working from home.
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Remote collaboration issues could cost Irish firms €3.3bn a year – survey

16 Aug 2021

People are losing an average of 21 minutes per day searching for and exchanging files while working from home, according to an Auxilion survey of more than 500 Irish workers.

Irish businesses could lose around €3.3bn every year as a result of employees struggling to find and share documents while working from home, according to Dublin-based IT services company Auxilion.

This is because a recent survey commissioned by the company – of 500 Irish office workers who are currently working remotely or have worked from home in the past – found that staff lose 21 minutes per day on average searching for and exchanging documents.

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The survey identified not being able to talk in person, colleagues not being as available as they were before, and difficulty finding files as the top three stumbling blocks to effective remote work.

The inability to talk to co-workers in person was found to be the biggest impediment to effective communication, with almost half (44pc) of respondents citing it as a problem in the world of remote collaboration.

“There is absolutely no reason Irish workers should be losing so much time out of their day trying to find files and work with colleagues – and that’s not to mention the €3.3bn it’s costing businesses,” said Donal Sullivan, CTO of Auxilion.

“The tools are already out there to enable people to collaborate in real time, access files securely and swiftly, and realise the benefits offered by remote or hybrid working.”

More than one in five respondents (22pc) also said that security concerns while using communication tools were a challenge, while the same proportion said they don’t feel that their input is as valuable in online collaborations as it is in person.

Family members or pets making their way into the frame during a remote meetings was a commonly reported occurrence, as was wearing pyjamas and joining meetings from the bed. One quarter of workers surveyed even admitted to lying about Wi-Fi crashes to leave meetings.

In terms of annoying habits when working remotely, the survey found that forgetting to mute oneself, always joining meetings late and eating on camera topped the list. Friday afternoons and Monday mornings were found to be the worst times to schedule virtual meetings.

The survey found that workers spend an average of 62 minutes per day on virtual meetings, and Microsoft Teams emerged as the most used online communication tool with almost 60pc of respondents using it for work.

However, 57pc of respondents also said that they had not received proper training to use their online collaboration tools.

“Of course, staff also need to know how to use these tools effectively so there is an educational piece that companies need to address,” added Sullivan.

“But if they do embrace this type of digital thinking, backed up by the best technologies and the right strategies, it will not only empower workers but boost business output and support company growth both now and in the future – whatever, and wherever, their future workplace is.”

Vish Gain
By Vish Gain

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic since July 2021. He has previously worked as a freelance journalist, writing about business and climate change in Europe. When he’s not writing and editing articles, he’s usually going on long walks around the city, learning Irish or thinking about puns to include in his next headline.

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