How digital organization impacts employees and the workplace

Accountant showing office document auditing concept plan.

Image credit: Adobe Stock/ Song_about_summer.

Gone are the days of file cabinets and physical documents. With the rapid digitization of business processes, it has become essential for companies to shift their focus toward organized digital systems. This shift allows for streamlined information storage and retrieval and provides employees with the tools and resources they need at their fingertips.

Unfortunately, disorganization can still occur digitally and negatively impact employee and business operations. Because of this, Adobe Acrobat surveyed employed Americans to discover the importance of digital organization and document hygiene.

Key Findings:

Employees can’t navigate their employer’s digital organization system

Poor document hygiene can come with an array of issues for businesses and employees. We uncovered the top issues faced when dealing with digital disorganization.

Infographic showing 47% of Employees find their company's digital organization system ineffective and difficult to navigate.

The top issues employees face with digital organization are difficulty finding documents quickly (48 percent), employees not following organizational protocol (39 percent), and inconsistent naming conventions (37 percent).

47 percent of employees say their company’s digital organization method is ineffective and difficult to navigate. As a company, it’s crucial to have proper organization systems and processes to improve employee efficiency. These systems can include clear folder structures, proper naming conventions that make sense for each folder and document, and access controls so only appropriate employees can change or edit certain documents.

With 22 percent of employees saying an organizational challenge is integrating documents across multiple platforms, it’s also important to lean on tools to make digital organization seamless. Adobe Acrobat’s free online PDF editor is here to help you and your employees with all your document editing needs, from renaming files to converting and merging documents.

The consequences of digital disorganization

Dealing with digital disorganization day-in and day-out can negatively affect an employee’s work performance and sentiment toward their employer. Here’s how digital disorganization can negatively impact employees:

Infographic showing How digital disorganization impacts employees.

Overall, 1 in 5 employees have considered leaving their job due to digital disorganization. This amount rises to 30 percent amongst Gen Z employees, the newest generation to enter the workforce. These stats clearly prove that employee frustrations with digital organization can interfere with satisfaction and can impact employee turnover.

Unfortunately, 71 percent of employees say poor digital organization interferes with their ability to work effectively. The goal of every business is to work efficiently and successfully, and our findings show that this can be difficult to achieve with digital disarray.

If your employees are feeling this frustration due to digital organization, consider utilizing a document management system to ease organizational burdens. To improve document organization and workflow for any team, Adobe Document Cloud provides systems and processes that are easy for anyone to use.

Does poor digital organization prevent effective employees?

In any workplace, it’s crucial for employees to be able to work efficiently and effectively to get the job done. With disorganized documents and complicated document systems, this can be difficult.

Infographic showing Digital disorganization on the clock.

Overall, nearly 2 in 3 employees have had to recreate a document due to being unable to find it. On top of that, over 1 in 10 employees have spent more than four hours a week searching for digital documents. A whopping 95 percent of employees have felt frustrated when searching for a document, with 13 percent feeling this frustration regularly. 47 percent of employees say their company’s digital organization system is littered with outdated or irrelevant documents, making searching for the correct document arguably more frustrating.

Unfortunately, the prolonged hunt for the correct document creates employee inefficiencies and can lead to lower productivity across teams. To easily clean up your drive and find documents, merge duplicate PDF’s free online PDF Editor can help you convert files to PDF and merge duplicate PDFs to improve efficiency and overall document hygiene. You can read more about how a company successfully used Adobe Acrobat to improve efficiencies here.

Over 1 in 4 employees say their company NEVER conducts digital cleanups

Infographic showing Digital cleanups in the workplace.

The solution to digital disorganization can be to perform regular digital cleanups to ensure documents are organized and filed away correctly. But when we asked employees how often their employer conducts regular digital cleanups, over 1 in 4 said digital cleanups never occur.

42 percent of employees report conducting digital cleanups due to running out of storage space, and 35 percent say performance issues on the system will lead them to perform a digital cleanup. 15 percent say these cleanups only occur due to employee complaints. Regardless of the motivation, it’s a good idea to perform digital cleanups regularly to maintain an effective and efficient workflow.

Digital hygiene is crucial for employee efficiency and satisfaction

Digital organization is of utmost importance in the modern workplace. A well-structured and easily accessible digital system allows employees to efficiently store, retrieve, and share information, saving valuable time and reducing frustration. Digital organization also enhances productivity and facilitates effective decision-making. Ultimately, implementing a solid digital organization system empowers employees, streamlines workflows, and enables companies to thrive in today's fast-paced and technology-driven business environment.

What to include in your business’s standard operating procedure to improve digital organization:

Having the right tools at your disposal while at work is very important to the efficiency of the business. Implementing a document editing tool across your organization can help ensure that employees can easily make changes needed to documents, which can help with overall document organization and management. Adobe Acrobat online services offers a multitude of options for this. Use this tool to convert your files, merge documents together, or simply to edit your PDF files.


Adobe Acrobat conducted a survey of 1,118 employed Americans to understand their sentiments on digital organization and document hygiene.

The data is based on self-reported answers, meaning respondents may have had biases or discrepancies between their own reported ability and their actual abilities. To ensure respondents answered accurately, they were required to correctly answer an attention-check question. Survey data have certain limitations related to self-reporting.

About Adobe Acrobat:

Keep business moving with Adobe Acrobat. With a tool like Adobe Acrobat, we make it easy to convert your documents to PDF for easy sharing and accessibility among your entire team. Whether working on a desktop, mobile, or the web, you have a complete set of tools to convert, edit, share, and sign PDFs — and more.

All versions of Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Acrobat Standard and Acrobat Pro provide support for the accessible reading of PDF files by persons with disabilities.

Fair Use Statement:

Now that you know the importance of digital organization, feel free to share this data. We ask that you do so for non-commercial use and provide a link to this original study page, so that your audience can explore the research in its entirety.