New Nationwide IKON Efficiency Poll Defines The Efficient Office
Tuesday, May 06, 2003
Valley Forge, PA - May 5, 2003 - A new, nationwide survey polling 1,200 office workers reveals that people who describe their offices as efficient tend to work in offices with stronger technological capabilities, receive adequate training on the equipment they use, spend less time in the office and are more satisfied in their jobs overall. The study was conducted by National Research Inc., an independent survey research firm based in Washington, DC. The aforementioned study, The IKON Efficiency Poll, was commissioned by IKON Office Solutions, the world's largest independent distributor of document management products and services. National Research, Inc. polled office workers in 12 metropolitan areas - New York, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Miami, Washington, Detroit and Houston, as well as Toronto, Canada - about their attitudes toward efficiency and technology in the workplace. The survey questioned office workers about their perceptions of "enhancers" and "hindrances" to office efficiency and productivity. "Office efficiency" is defined in the survey as "the ability of your office to accomplish goals and tasks in a timely manner without overlaps or delays." Cathy Lewis, Senior Vice President of Marketing, IKON Office Solutions said, "We commissioned the IKON Efficiency Poll in order to gain a better understanding of the attitudes and opinions of office workers so that we can continue to deliver solutions to meet their ever-changing needs. We found the correlation between office efficiency and increased technological capabilities, better training, shorter work hours and ultimately, job satisfaction, consistent with what we are hearing from our customers everyday. Our mission is to make companies more efficient by providing a complete portfolio of products and services designed to enhance document efficiency throughout the document lifecycle -- from input to archive." Efficient Offices More Likely to Have More Advanced Technology The poll found that efficientoffices were characterized by strong technological capabilities. Efficient offices had printers and copiers that were newer and had more features than the printers and copiers in inefficient offices. More than half of the people polled in "very efficient" offices reported their company has "top of the line" copiers vs. only about one-third in inefficient offices. In fact, workers in inefficient offices were much more likely to identify poor technology as their offices' biggest obstacle to good performance. Findings showed they were almost twice as likely as other workers to indicate that faulty office technology was the number one factor limiting office productivity. Electronic distribution of documents - whereby workers can transmit documents via email - was a capability more likely to be found in "very efficient offices." Nearly 60% of respondents who said their offices are "very efficient" reported having the ability to scan hard-copy documents and save them as electronic files. The survey also showed that the differing technological capabilities of efficient and inefficient offices had a direct impact on workers' ability to get their jobs done. For instance, those who work in inefficient offices were nearly twice as likely to spend several minutes waiting in line to use a copier as workers in very efficient offices. According to the IKON Efficiency Poll, workers in efficient offices not only have better technological support than workers in inefficient offices, but they are also better prepared to make the best use of their technology through superior skills. For example, when asked, "Not including computers, do you feel that your company provides adequate training on how to use your electronic office equipment, such as printers, copiers, fax machines and scanners?" More than three-quarters (77%) of workers from very efficient offices said that they had received adequate training. Less than half (45%) of those from inefficient offices said they received such training. Office Efficiency Linked to Job Satisfaction, Shorter Hours The IKON Efficiency Poll also revealed that people who work in offices they described as "inefficient" were less satisfied than workers in efficient offices. In inefficient offices, 32% of workers polled said they were dissatisfied, while in efficient offices, only 12% of respondents were dissatisfied. Conversely, 70% of workers in "very efficient" offices described themselves as being "very satisfied" compared with only 28% in inefficient offices. People who work in inefficient offices tend to work longer hours, according to the IKON Efficiency Poll, with 59% of workers in inefficient offices working 9 or more hours per day, compared with 41% in very efficient offices. The necessity to work overtime was also more prevalent in offices described as inefficient, with virtually double the amount of workers (30%) working overtime every day in inefficient offices compared with 16% working overtime every day in very efficient offices. Survey Reveals Interesting Regional Differences The survey results also revealed significant regional differences in the levels of office efficiency, technology capabilities and job satisfaction reported nationwide. IKON announced these regional findings to local press in separate media alerts today. Other Key Findings The wide-ranging IKON Efficiency Poll yields other interesting insights concerning office life today. Among them are these findings: • Very efficient offices are more likely to be staffed by long-term employees (51%), and very efficient offices are more likely to be on the west coast (48%); • Workers in small and midsize companies reported a higher rate of perceived efficiency (93%) than workers in companies with 500 or more employees (85%); and • In terms of sector, the highest efficiency rates were found in the legal industry (74%) and telecommunications (53%). Survey methodology The survey consisted of telephone interviews with 1,200 full-time office workers contacted at random. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 2.81% at the 95% confidence interval. This means that in 19 out of 20 instances these survey results would vary by no more than +/- 2.81% if it were possible to interview every office worker in the 12 metro areas.