Back to Work: Survey Shows Inadequate Email Storage and Search Features are Hampering Employee Productivity

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More than half of email-using employees admit to wasting time searching for or reconstructing emails.

Businesses looking to improve productivity in 2006 should look no further than their email inbox. A survey conducted by Harris Interactive® for Fortiva reports that more than half of employed U.S. adults who use email at work (59 per cent) admit to wasting a lot of time searching for lost email, while 31 per cent admit to having to re-write or re-construct these ‘lost’ emails. Over one-fourth (28 per cent) acknowledge that the volume of email they receive causes them to fall behind in their work.

These statistics are among a set of results that point to a growing problem for businesses. As reliance on email as a business tool has grown, so has the need for new and better ways to search through, store and manage that email. Despite this, many businesses are still relying on basic email tools to cope with the influx of email data.

“Email has arguably been the greatest productivity tool for businesses over the past decade, but it can bring with it a number of challenges” said Paul Chen, CEO of Fortiva. “These survey results illustrate what we have been hearing from our customers – without the proper search and storage tools, email can actually reduce productivity levels. Companies are wasting huge amounts of their employees’ time just sorting through, filing and saving email for future use.”

It’s not just business email that can impact productivity levels. With nearly two-thirds of employed adults who send/receive email at work (61 per cent) using work email for personal reasons, chances are that businesses are also losing employee time to personal correspondence. This personal email use can also impact corporate email storage resources.

Other interesting statistics from the survey include:

  • Email-using employees earning a higher income are more likely to admit to wasting time searching for email than their lower-paid counterparts. Among those who earn $75K or more per year, 65 per cent admit to wasting time looking for email they know they’ve received compared to 47 per cent of those earning less than $35K per year.
  • A substantial number (27 per cent) have also reached or exceeded the amount of storage space allowed for email at work.
  • Those with higher incomes rely more heavily on work email for personal use (66 per cent of those with incomes of $50K and above, compared to 55per cent of those with incomes of $35K to $50K and 49 per cent of those with incomes under $35K), and waste more time searching for emails.
  • U.S. adults who send/receive email at work that earn $75K or more are more likely to save work-related email outside of the company’s network (62 per cent, compared to 51 per cent of those earning $50K to $75K and 41per cent of those with incomes less than $50K).

Many organizations are turning to email archiving to solve these problems. Fortiva’s managed email archiving solution allows employees to easily access their own email archives, including deleted email, from their corporate mailbox. This feature can help reduce the burden on email servers, while eliminating the need for employees to store copies of email outside the corporate network. The solution also takes advantage of a distributed network architecture, similar to those used by major search engines, allowing end-users to quickly and easily search through messages and attachments

Survey Methodology

Harris Interactive® fielded the study on behalf of Fortiva, Inc. from November 2 - 4, 2005, via its QuickQuerySM online omnibus, interviewing a nationwide sample of 2,400 U.S. adults aged 18 and over, among whom 1,042 are employed and send or receive email at work. Data were weighted to reflect the total U.S. online adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity, and amount of time spent online each week. In theory, with a probability sample of this size, one can say with 95 percent certainty that the overall results have a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points and the results of the employed adults who send or receive email at work is plus or minus 4 percentage points. Sampling error for the various sub-samples of employed adults who send or receive email at work is higher and varies. This online sample is not a probability sample.

About Harris Interactive®

Harris Interactive Inc. (, based in Rochester, New York, is the 13th largest and the fastest-growing market research firm in the world, most widely known for The Harris Poll® and for its pioneering leadership in the online market research industry. Long recognized by its clients for delivering insights that enable confident business decisions, the Company blends the science of innovative research with the art of strategic consulting to deliver knowledge that leads to measurable and enduring value. Harris Interactive serves clients worldwide through its United States, Europe ( and Asia offices, its wholly-owned subsidiary Novatris in Paris, France (, and through an independent global network of affiliate market research companies. EOE M/F/D/V

To become a member of the Harris Poll OnlineSM and be invited to participate in future online surveys, go to

About Fortiva Inc.

Fortiva is a leading provider of managed email archiving solutions for regulatory compliance, legal discovery and email storage management needs. With its outsourced solution, Fortiva is helping businesses across North America to quickly and easily meet email archiving needs without risking data security. Using proprietary DoubleBlind Encryption™ technology, Fortiva stores all data offsite in encrypted form, so Fortiva staff can never access the content of archived data. The customer retains exclusive access to the encryption keys, allowing them to instantly search and retrieve archived data without worrying about managing the storage infrastructure. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada and with offices across the United States, Fortiva delivers its customer-driven solutions through a strong network of strategic partnerships as well as a direct sales force. Fortiva is a privately-owned company, with investment from Cargill Ventures, McLean Watson Capital and Ventures West. For more information, visit


David Gollom

High Road Communications

416.368.8348 ext. 267

Victoria Badgley


416.366.6666 ext. 383

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