The 2010 LexisNexis® International Workplace Productivity Survey revealed that South African legal professionals spend the most hours at their job in a typical workday. South African legal professionals spend on average 9.5 hours of their day in the office, compared to their counterparts in the United States who spend 8.8 hours, United Kingdom (7.8 hours), China (8.0 hours) and Australia (7.9 hours).
The survey was commissioned by LexisNexis® (www.lexisnexis.co.za), one of the most established and respected information providers in the legal and business industries.
The study was performed from June 2010 to July 2010 in South Africa among 100 legal professionals. The survey found that the amount of information workers have to manage for their jobs continues to increase at an alarming rate, with much of it irrelevant to employees getting their jobs done. Legal professionals around the world are finding it extremely challenging to filter through e-mails, to conduct background research for cases and to manage large volumes of information. With the increase in information, it is not surprising that 84 percent of South African legal professionals wish they could spend less time organising, and more time using, the information that comes their way.
According to the survey, 90 percent of legal professionals in South Africa say that not being able to access the right information at the right time wastes time. Given the rising tide of information, it is not surprising that the majority of workers across markets (58 percent) admit that their quality of work is suffering at times because they can‟t sort through information they need fast enough.
The quality of employees‟ work suffers, with many of them missing deadlines, meetings and delivering incomplete documents. Legal professionals in South Africa (66 percent) say that they feel demoralised when they can‟t manage all the information that comes their way at work. Workers believe they could be more productive at work if the tools they used were designed to work the way that they work.
Legal professionals around the globe are desperate for their employers to help them find better customised solutions to manage the information overload problem. Although companies are aware of the challenges of information overload, and have taken some steps to manage it, gaps still exists between actions they‟ve taken and what employees‟ needs are. Professionals have now begun to put their own techniques into practice to help them cut through clutter.
According to the survey, professionals make use of spam filters, web dashboard tools, RSS feeds and Twitter decks to help them prioritise and filter the information they receive at work. One in five South African legal professionals (18 percent) said that their productivity at work is negatively impacted because they don‟t have consistent access to the Internet at work. This excludes the time that professionals need to attend to the conversation and stream of information they receive from their social media networks.
Workers report feelings of dejection from this endless stream of information and believe they will soon reach their breaking point.
The majority of legal professionals in South Africa, 70 percent, report that research takes up so much of theirtime that sometimes they end up not billing for the time they‟ve spent on it. This is exactly why LexisNexis is continuously transforming itself to, not only keep abreast with the changes in technology, but to assist professionals with their changing needs and to help them access and manage information more effectively.
A hundred years ago, it would not have been possible to even imagine a world in which countless legal references could be searched using specific phrases, and rated by importance, all at the click of a button. Recently the legal industry‟s reliance on digital solutions has reached a tipping point.
According to Billy Last, CEO of LexisNexis South Africa, globally business and legal professionals are demanding sophisticated online research tools that are not only capable of searching, sifting and filtering through information, but tools that are intelligent enough to evaluate results and tailor them to the user‟s specific needs.
“Now that we are in this new reality, it‟s time to adapt or be left behind by those who are able to use technology for business benefit. To survive in the competitive online content marketplace, professionals must know how to filter through information and conduct research quickly. LexisNexis‟ online solutions can help professionals save time on research and add intelligence to information. This is becoming increasingly important in a tough competitive environment where companies need to cut down on research costs and with pressure on employees to be more productive in their research efforts,” adds Last.
LexisNexis‟ newly improved solutions-based technologies deliver faster, better and more relevant results, and use analytics and visuals to reveal unique insights and new perspectives to problems in the workplace. This extends to a variety of areas including; legal, corporate, government, law enforcement, tax, accounting, academic, risk and compliance assessment with intelligent business solutions.
For example, LexisNexis has a tool for the legal industry which rates search results by how influential they have been in case wins. This is important when evaluating information, to ensure clients‟ cases have an even better chance of success.
LexisNexis has evolved from a traditional publisher to a „content solutions provider‟. Being a leader in the information business LexisNexis can provide companies and their employees with a variety of tools that will help them to manage information in a more intelligent way by having access to world-class content, information analytics and workflow solutions harnessed by leading edge technology.
“At LexisNexis, we aim to enrich understanding and inspire insightful decisions while advancing industry and society by informing the people who shape the world,” says Last.
About the International Workplace Productivity Survey:
LexisNexis sponsored the 2010 International Workplace Productivity Survey. The study included 1 700 white collar professionals across five countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, China, South Africa and Australia. This diverse group of countries was chosen so as to provide a sample that included white collar workers from a variety of geographies, who are working in different economic conditions and whose access to technology is not uniform in every location. The study included 300 non-legal professionals and 200 legal professionals in the US and 200 non-legal professionals and 100 legal professionals in each of the other markets. It was fielded by WorldOne, an international market research agency, specialising in the collection and analysis of data for leading market research organisations, consulting firms and corporations. The findings are available online at http://www.multivu.com/players/English/46619-LexisNexis-International-Workplace-Productivity-Survey/
LexisNexis South Africa
LexisNexis® (www.lexisnexis.com) is a leading global provider of content-enabled workflow solutions designed specifically for professionals in the legal, risk management, corporate, government, law enforcement, accounting, and academic markets. LexisNexis originally pioneered online information with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. A member of Reed Elsevier [NYSE: ENL; NYSE: RUK] (www.reedelsevier.com), LexisNexis serves customers in more than 100 countries with 15,000 employees worldwide.