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U.S. Office Workers Laboring Longer, Not Better Says Xerox / Harris Survey

Press release from the issuing company

ROCHESTER, N.Y.--Aug. 29, 2002--Office workers across the country are laboring longer but not always better, according to a recent workplace survey by Xerox Corporation and research firm Harris Interactive. The survey showed nearly half of office workers are putting in nine to 10 hours or more a day but are only working at peak productivity for about half that time. What's getting in the way? Seventy-four percent of respondents said heavier workloads are eating up more of their time, leaving less to show for it. Complicated work processes, unnecessary paperwork, too much e-mail, and related technology issues are among the biggest productivity drains. "Labor Day is an opportunity to re-think the way your office works," said Dan Holtshouse, director, Corporate Business Strategy, Xerox. "Today's offices can be plagued with the same kind of productivity problems that used to be found on factory floors. When you speed up the production line, you put quality, customer satisfaction, and employee motivation at risk." One way to work smarter, Holtshouse points out, is to eliminate hidden productivity issues associated with heavy volumes of paper and electronic documents in the office. Another recent study by Xerox and Queens University of Canada revealed that 40 percent of worker time spent on documents delivers "little or no value." Seven out of 10 workers in the Xerox/Harris Interactive survey said having the time to do "higher quality work" is the best way they can help their companies succeed. The survey showed some of the best work ideas actually come during downtime. More than half of respondents said they get as many innovative ideas lying awake in bed at night as they do in daytime meetings. Among other findings in the Xerox/Harris Interactive survey: * Of those logging longer hours at work, 70 percent said their average day increased by one hour or more, compared to last year. * Workers at companies with more than 100 employees are more likely to put in longer hours. * Sixty percent of respondents say they do their best work before 11 a.m. * Nearly half (45 percent) of respondents indicate they're working more closely and relying more heavily on co-workers compared to last year. The Xerox/Harris Interactive online survey was conducted as part of Xerox's strategy to help companies transform and improve work processes through a range of technologies and services. Results are based on a nationwide survey of more than 450 office workers by Harris Interactive, a global market research and consulting firm based in Rochester, N.Y. The random survey has an estimated statistical precision of +/- 5 percentage points.