Don’t ignore the strain of “information overload” on a newly remote workforce

Labeled ‘the world’s largest work-from-home experiment’, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced tens of millions of employees across organizations of every size into remote working. Behind…

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June 24, 20205 minute read

Labeled ‘the world’s largest work-from-home experiment’, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced tens of millions of employees across organizations of every size into remote working. Behind the closed doors of apartments and homes, thousands of businesses are trying to figure out how to stay afloat in a changing and more virtual world.

While OpenText™ has been able to quickly and effectively shift to a hybrid work model that enables integrated remote working for our employees, this has not been a universal experience. In fact, more than a third (35%) of office-based workers feel they are not equipped with the digital tools needed to effectively shift their work to a remote environment.

To provide our full support to customers as they work remotely, we commissioned research to better understand the technological issues companies are facing in light of the global pandemic. Our research, which surveyed 12,000 respondents across seven countries*, reveals the global impact ‘information overload’ is having on remote workers.

Globally, almost half (45%) of workers agree that the number of information sources they are obligated to check each day has increased in the last five years – including email, news feeds, calendars, social media, shared drives and more. The surplus of data sources and applications to check daily is adding to stress levels for nearly a third (31%) of workers across the globe.

Poor information management can have significant implications at the best of times, but the impact is much more severe if organizations are forced to transition large numbers of employees to a remote work environment in a short timeframe. Productivity suffers as staff deal with access issues, or lose valuable time searching for the right file, instead of focusing on higher-value work. Additionally, with data often residing in multiple, disparate systems, employees have a hard time keeping up to date with the latest content.

From ‘information overload’ to ‘information advantage’

Organizations need to find permanent ways to reduce complexity, simplify processes, and create engaging and seamless employee experiences. If companies do not take control of their data and manage ‘information overload’ now, they will struggle to compete in a business landscape threatened with ongoing disruption and fail to capitalize on the economic recovery when it arrives.

Digital transformation must underpin the future mix of office and remote work. Here are four ways for organizations to unlock their information advantage and build organizational resilience:

Create a single source of truth

The global pandemic has put a spotlight on the information management challenges companies face and is forcing many to rethink how they operate. Businesses must remove siloes to get a comprehensive view of their information, including both structured and unstructured data. With enterprise content management (ECM) software like OpenText Content Services, companies can integrate information-producing processes with a central platform to improve information access, bridge isolated process siloes, and provide remote users with a single version of the truth while ensuring governance is applied, wherever and however content is created.

Integrate lead applications

The best content services platforms also offer remote workers access to information from originating systems, such as SAP®, Microsoft® Office 365, Salesforce®, SuccessFactors® and more. OpenText™ Extended ECM Platform introduces the ability to automatically identify, analyze, and classify information as it is created or ingested, using rules defined at the central content management level. Once classified, that content and data can then be seamlessly introduced into information flows, making it easily available to the people and processes that need it.

Make collaboration easy and routine

As the current crisis accelerates digital transformation, flexible cloud-based platforms are vital. Critically, they enable workers to collaborate with their colleagues remotely, no matter what devices or operating systems are being used and they make this possible without companies having to manage IT on-premises. Cloud-based solutions like OpenText™ Core Share allow employees to securely share and collaborate on projects while working remotely, with partners and customers behind and beyond the corporate firewall.

Leverage analytics and AI

The reality is that manual classification and filing processes are disjointed, subjective and error-prone, leaving organizations unable to effectively manage their information. Layering automation, data analytics and AI on top of this provides actionable business insights, making it quicker and easier for remote employees, partners and customers to access the right information for their needs. The OpenText AI and Analytics platform leverages machine learning algorithms in big data platforms to transform huge volumes of data and content into self-service data visualizations for organizational users, wherever they are, to increase automation, boost operational efficiency and maximize revenue.

Preparing for the ‘new equilibrium’

The COVID-19 crisis has changed the way we live and work, and organizations across the globe are preparing for new ways of working that are likely to be permanent. This “new equilibrium” won’t necessarily be a world without offices, but there will be changes in how the office is used, and how productivity is measured.  Having an Information Management strategy in place is a key part of an organizational response, ensuring that they are agile and resilient, and that they can continue to drive productivity and revenue.

Interested in learning more about building a resilient organization? You can find more details in this blog post.

To find out more about how cloud-based Information Management enables a new way to work during periods of business disruption and global crisis, download our whitepaper.


*This research was conducted through Google Surveys from April-May 2020. Commissioned by OpenText, 12,000 people were anonymously surveyed from the following seven markets: Canada (2000 respondents), UK (2000 respondents), France (2000 respondents), Germany (2000 respondents), Spain (2000 respondents), Australia (1000 respondents) and Singapore (1000 respondents).

Detailed findings by geography

Specific research findings can be found here.

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OpenText, The Information Company, enables organizations to gain insight through market-leading information management solutions, powered by OpenText Cloud Editions.

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