A survey by enterprise content management firm Tower Software found that a third of employees at middle manager level or below have been in such a position when stepping into someone else's job or covering an absence.
Around 87 percent of those respondents have experienced a variety of negative outcomes as a result, largely because of their inability to find necessary documents.
Over two thirds found it 'extremely frustrating', while 40 percent became 'extremely stressed'.
Almost a third missed a deadline as a result, a quarter said that it was bad for working relationships and 18 percent claimed that it made them look bad in front of customers or managers.
According to the survey, which was conducted by Dynamic Markets on behalf of Tower, one in six said that it caused arguments and 13 percent that it created a bad atmosphere in the office.
David Oates, vice president at Tower EMEA, said: "The problem does not even stop when you are off sick or out of the office.
"Some 43 percent of middle managers and 48 percent of junior managers have had to phone a colleague, customer or supplier to ask them to send a copy of a document or email because they could not find it on their system.
"In our fast-paced modern business environment time is a precious commodity that most busy employees simply cannot afford to waste.
"It is no wonder that colleagues with poor information management practice are causing office tension."
Misplaced data stresses office workers
By Clement James on Jan 16, 2008 7:07AM