A new study has found that one third of UK office workers admit they only tidy their desks if a boss or client is coming into the office. Almost half (45 per cent) of those questioned said they tidy up because it could lead to a promotion.

The research, conducted by office supply specialists Fellowes, also hints at an organisational crisis in the UK, with the average employee spending seven working days a year looking for misplaced paperwork. That wasted time, roughly equated to one million hours a week, could be seeing UK business forfeit around £20 million a year in lost productivity.

What may come as a greater concern to GDPR-minded employers is that half of those questioned admitted they had paperwork on their desk that are over a year old. One in five reveal they have paperwork over five years old lying around the workplace.

Despite this, it seems as a nation unaware of our disorganisation, with only 10 per cent of people saying their paper documents were ‘very disorganised’.

Darryl Brunt, UK Sales and Marketing Director at Fellowes, says, ‘What we can see from the results, is that there are too many shortcomings in the workplace when it comes to organisation. Looming GDPR regulations should be enough of an incentive for employers to ensure their organisational processes are in check.’

He adds, ‘Businesses should be encouraging workers to use filing and storage solutions and ensure sensitive information, no longer required, is destroyed before May – when the new regulation comes into play. Failure to meet GDPR processes could result in huge fines in the region of £20 million, which could be extremely damaging to any business.’

Half of all workers surveyed also believed their workplace design, environment and organisation has a positive impact on their productivity.

Further reading on having a tidy desk

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