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Lack of access to information affecting Australian productivity

Productivity is being held back by employees' inability to access correct information, according to a new survey by 8x8. 

The research found that on average, professionals waste two hours every week trying to track down the right information internally, which is in turn impacting the quality of customer service they deliver.   

The Workplace Productivity and Knowledge Management Survey, based on more than 2,000 responses from individuals working in mid-market and enterprise organisations, takes a deep-dive into how work is done today and uncovers the communications challenges that fast-growing organisations face. 

According to the survey, 26% of people can't find the information they need to do their jobs effectively on the systems they use, and 16% aren't able to locate the right expert internally.

Moreover, 26% are held back by information not being shared in a central place. Employees also say that a few experts within their organisation hold most of the information about the company (67%), but they can't always contact them.

8x8 says this is impacting customer service teams in particular, with at least two different people required internally to get the right information to answer a single query. This means it takes them longer to answer customer queries (62%) and the quality of service falls (61%).

The company explains that not being able to access the right information has impacted businesses in several ways:

  • Employees working longer hours to complete work 44%
  • Slow resolution of problems 38%
  • Inaccurate information used 31%

The data was also analysed by age group and organisation size. When asked what channel they would respond most quickly to, millennial workers said email (27%), followed by phone (43%) and online chat (11%), but baby boomers preferred phone (77%) followed by email (37%).

Those in large organisations say the problem has gotten worse as they've grown. Over half of employees (55%) say that it has become more difficult to reach the right experts internally as the business has scaled.

Collaboration technology makes it possible for expert knowledge to be open to all staff at any time 82% say that this type of tech would help them do their job more efficiently. With these types of tools in place, large organisations can ensure everyone has access to the right information exactly when they need it and that they can contact the right subject matter expert on any channel.

"Organisations are getting more complex with people often spread across many locations and time zones, making it harder for teams to collaborate, share, and learn from each other," says Brendan Maree, vice president of Asia Pacific at 8x8.

"In addition, in many instances, a small portion of a company's staff holds the majority of the expertise, which as this study shows, stands in the way of delivering excellent customer service," he explains.

"One solution is to use a single cloud communications platform, enabling teams and individuals to collaborate much more efficiently since all employees can access information faster - no matter what channel they use," Maree says. 

"This will also foster a culture of innovation which can have a tremendous impact on job satisfaction and loyalty. Empowered employees feel a greater sense of ownership over the level of service they provide. These improved rates of satisfaction and loyalty flow through to customers."