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Global Study Shows 61 Percent of Professionals Would Switch Jobs for Less Paperwork

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 12:02 AM

Adobe survey finds 83 percent of workers feel hampered by outdated ways of working with documents

A study of more than 5,000 office professionals across the US, UK, Germany, France and Australia exposes how antiquated business processes and outdated ways of working with documents are having a dramatic impact on productivity, efficiency and worker satisfaction. The findings are detailed in Paper Jam: Why Documents are Dragging Us Down, a new report released today by Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) that provides new insights on the attitudes of business professionals toward how work actually gets done.

Professionals are clearly fed up with antiquated business processes. An overwhelming majority (83%) feel their success and ability to be productive at work are slowed down by outdated ways of working with documents, and 61% of professionals (69% in the US) would change jobs solely for the sake of dramatically less paperwork. Further, more than a quarter of professionals (more than a third in the US) believe mundane tasks and cumbersome, inefficient processes are holding back their career advancement.

Pulp Friction: Document Tasks Get in the Way of Real Work

The research findings show that document-related tasks are more than a source of frustration: they’re a bottleneck to getting real work done. Fifty-five percent of office workers (61% in US) feel mundane and inefficient processes distract them from more important tasks, and 49% of professionals (56% in US) believe these inefficiencies stop them from doing their best work. Forty-three percent of respondents report that the volume of e-mail attachments has made their work life more complicated, and cite not being able to find documents they know exist (82%) and version control (78%) as the most frustrating document problems. Forty-three percent of professionals have lost important electronic information or documents, and 70% of those losses were caused by a computer or hard drive failure.

Digital Document Disparity

People want to be able to access documents as easily as other forms of popular digital content today, yet documents lag behind other content and media types in going digital.

“Other content types like music and photos – and the ways we interact with them – have moved forward. Why not documents?” said Kevin Lynch, vice president and general manager of Document Services, Adobe. “The rise of mobile will exacerbate this document gap even more. This should be a wake-up call to businesses that their productivity is taking a hit and they need to do something about it.”

Respondents say that accessing important information from anywhere is a priority, whether for work (65%) or personal use (60%). However, respondents reported that only 6% of their documents are stored in the cloud. Moreover, respondents say that 64% of their photos are digital and the majority (57%) of music is digital, but only 41% of their documents are available and accessible in digital format.

People have embraced digital formats for other types of content in their personal lives, but they still cling to traditional paper at work. When asked about going paper-free for various tasks, more than four in five agree it saves time, is fast and easy. However, 76% of professionals say they are reliant on paper documents at work and 52% admit to being emotionally attached to paper documents. Further, people report feeling uncomfortable with the idea of having digital-only copies of important personal (55%) and work (40%) documents and 50% of respondents believe they will still be reliant on paper at work five years from now.

Document Cloud

Today Adobe announced the Adobe Document Cloud, a modern way to manage critical documents at home, in the office and across devices. See separate press release.

About the Paper Jam Report

The data points referenced above come from a study commissioned by Adobe, produced by research firm Edelman Berland and conducted as an online survey among a total of 5,038 office professionals in five countries, age 18-70, employed full time and working with a computer on a daily basis. The global data presented in total in the report uses an aggregate of the five countries surveyed (U.S.A., U.K., Germany, France, and Australia). Data was collected Feb. 8-20, 2015 by Edelman Berland. The margin of error +/- 3.0%. For more information and graphics on the research results, see the infographic, animated infographic, and full report.

About Adobe Systems Incorporated

Adobe is changing the world through digital experiences. For more information, visit

© 2015 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved. Adobe and the Adobe logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Adobe Systems Incorporated
Steve Ballerini, 415-832-2234
Cynthia Fetty, 650-762-2872

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