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Temperatures rise as office workers vent their anger over frustrations in the workplace

Reigate, October 2, 2007: New research into the causes of ‘office rage’ has revealed the frustrations felt by office workers in the UK and across Europe. The pan-European poll, commissioned by Canon, world leader in digital imaging technology, found that long and pointless meetings are the principle cause of anger across European offices with ill manners and office politics coming out on top in the UK and Ireland.

• Ill manners, office politics and long, pointless meetings come out top of Pan-European study into ‘Office Rage’
• Workers in Belfast, Birmingham and Cardiff most likely to snap
• ‘Admin agony’ leads to significant stress levels – four out of ten say they spend 2 hours a day on unnecessary admin, one in ten wastes 3 hours a day
•  Canon launches software to reduce office stress caused by searching for and collating documents

The study, which questioned approximately 3000 European office workers across Europe showed that being spoken down to (68%) and office politics (58%) were highlighted as the two most common causes of work related stress in offices.  In the UK and Ireland, as many as 8 out of 10 office workers have witnessed acts of visible anger where colleagues have let their frustration get the better of them (although not as bad as our Italian counterparts, with 94% saying that displays of anger are commonplace in the office).

The main cause of UK and Ireland workers losing their temper was being spoken down to by a boss or colleague (61%) but interestingly PC downtime (24%) and people leaving paper jams in printers for others to fix (24%) scored highly when it came to physical outbursts. The UK’s most angry offices were found to be Cardiff – with 69% admitting to outbursts in the office – followed by Belfast and Birmingham (both 56%). Workers in Dundee, Brighton and Newcastle are the calmest and least prone to temper tantrums.

The research shows a modern day phenomenon, labelled ‘Office Rage’ by psychotherapist and occupational stress expert Lucy Beresford. Beresford said: “For people to feel less stressed in the office, they need to feel more in control of their working life and working environment. When this control is lost through external events such as a rude boss, sitting in a pointless meeting or a printer jam that no one wants to fix, it doesn’t take much for the average office worker to snap. There is no doubt that office rage is on the increase, but a range of initiatives such as crisper meetings or interpersonal kindness could reduce stress levels and even extend the life expectancy of office equipment.”

The research also showed the stress caused by ‘admin agony’, currently being experienced in office workers up and down the country. Collating documents came out as the most frustrating and stressful admin task (27%), followed by searching for files on the company network (23%), filing expenses (16%) and submitting holiday requests (10%). 1 in 10 workers waste a staggering 3 hours a day on unnecessary admin with 4 in 10 spending 2 hours a day on these tasks.  When asked what they would spend this wasted time on if they could improve office productivity the resounding response was leaving the office on time (39%) followed by more time for personal development (27%) and taking a proper lunch break (16%).

Canon has addressed the problem of ‘admin agony’ with the recent launch of its new iW360 software. iW360 combines a range of software into a single, powerful suite that enables users to search, collate and create documents effortlessly - even if they are working with a selection of applications or document types such as scanned images, electronic documents, web pages, charts and presentations. iW360 increases office productivity by streamlining the way that office workers capture, manage and print documents.

Andy Vickers, Managing Director, Canon UK said: “We can’t help with office layout or dealing with an over zealous boss but there are some frustrations that are easily solved. Office workers are placed under increasing pressure to quickly create new documents and IT managers and employees alike crave simplicity when it comes to dealing with information and technology. iW360 makes life simpler, helping employees find, edit and produce documents faster.”

“Our solutions are designed to boost productivity by helping businesses manage their information, printing and imaging more effectively and if this goes some way to reducing office rage levels and time wasted on admin agony, we will be happy.”

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