Irish businesses are sacrificing as much as €3.3 billion a year as office employees lose an average of 21 minutes of their day searching for and exchanging documents in the working-from-home era, according to IT services provider Auxilion.
A survey of more than 500 office workers by Censuswide, conducted in June, identified difficulty gaining access to or finding work files and systems as the third-biggest block to effective collaboration with colleagues, cited by a quarter of respondents.
The biggest block was not being able to talk in person, cited by 44 per cent, followed by colleagues not being as available as they were before, cited by 30 per cent.
Some 22 per cent said security concerns about using communication tools was the main block to collaboration with colleagues.
Auxilion said employees were spending an average of 62 minutes per day on virtual meetings and this was unlikely to shorten in the future, as three-quarters of respondents believe their organisation will continue to use virtual applications when Covid-19 restrictions ease.
However, 22 per cent of office workers said they did not believe their input is as valuable in online collaborations as it is in person.
Auxilion chief technology officer Donal Sullivan said there was "an educational piece that companies need to address" in training employees to collaborate in real time and access their files securely and swiftly to realise the benefits of remote and hybrid working.
The study also found that 41 per cent of workers have had a family member or partner accidentally appear on camera during a work meeting, while 34 per cent reported that their pet had made an appearance.
A similar proportion of workers have done a virtual work meeting in their pyjamas, with more than a quarter joining one from their bed.