Middle managers hoarding documents

Middle managers hoarding documents

Are you a Fox, a Wolf or a Puppy?

Middle managers aged 45 plus are the most habitual hoarders of documents, files and emails that should be shared with colleagues.

A survey by Tower Software revealed that 88 per cent of employees at middle manager level or below need to share computer files with co-workers.

But a staggering 62 per cent of middle managers store files in places other than a shared computer network, and 59 per cent store such files in multiple locations, compared to 29 per cent of administration staff.

The independent survey conducted by Dynamic Markets on behalf of Tower found that 17 per cent of respondents claim they do not share files because they do not want people 'interfering with the contents'.

Almost two thirds of those aged 45 plus store files in a particular way out of habit, and a fifth are concerned with protecting creative ideas from competitive colleagues.

This compares to just six per cent of those aged 34 or under, and four per cent of those aged 35-44.

This practice by 'older' employees seems to present problems for their younger colleagues.

Three-quarters of those aged 34 or under are unable to locate the current version of a computer file that colleagues have been working on, compared to 38 per cent of those aged 45 plus.

David Oates, vice president at Tower Software EMEA, said: "The survey suggests that the already challenging task of effective electronic document and records management is complicated by a myriad of 'information creatures' among employees.
Tower identified three 'information creatures':

The Fox
A middle manager or employee aged 45 plus who is wary of those around him and does not easily trust others. Habitual and mindful of organisational politics and potential threats to his success, the Fox is wise and devious with his work. He has possibly been made redundant in a former role, or fallen foul of those more 'sly' than himself.

The Wolf
Slightly younger than the Fox and a team player, the Wolf perceives the need to work as part of a cohesive 'pack'. Slightly braver than the Fox, he likes to do what is most efficient and is perhaps not overly concerned with personal gain as he feels less threatened.

The Puppy
The youngest of the employees working in more junior roles, some of them still 'training'. Making more mistakes than others, and not always aware of them, the Puppy tries hard to please, but often falls foul of the actions of those around him.