Behavioural Change

Jo Geraghty

Director

Boredom and the art of digital maintenance

Date added: 26th Jul 2017
Category: Behavioural Change

Why should people be spending considerable parts of their day in carrying out manual processes which could quite easily be automated?

It’s Friday afternoon, the clock’s ticked past 2:39 and you’re looking forward to the weekend. There’s just one more thing that you have to do and to be quite honest you’re not really giving it your full attention. What happens next?

Well if a survey by Centrify is anything to go by, the chances are that you’re going to make a mistake. And if the task involves data in any form then that mistake could lead to a data breach. In fact, 35% of those surveyed cited distraction and boredom as the main cause of human error with heavy workloads at 19% coming in a distant second.

In our earlier article Digital security is a state of mind we examined the importance of creating a culture in which digital security awareness permeated every action and decision within the organisation. But even with that level of security awareness it’s hard to overcome the human factor when negative emotions such as boredom come into play. But unless businesses take steps to mitigate the risk of error then consequences could be severe.

For example, another report by Centrify revealed that on the day a security breach is announced, the share price will fall by an average of 5%. Investors and customers will also look to re-evaluate the relationship with customer turnover averaging 7% following a data breach.

What’s the solution? With digital security awareness only going so far what can organisations do in order to reduce the chance of human error? Well a good place to start is to review processes and procedures with a view to automating as many of the routine tasks as possible. Look behind the scenes at any seemingly efficient department and the chances are that your people have built a system of checks and balances in order to ensure that routine tasks aren’t missed. And quite often the only difference between efficiency and inefficiency is that those additional tasks are missed.

But why should people be spending considerable parts of their day in carrying out manual processes which could quite easily be automated? For a start all those reminder cards, daily lists, diary notes and so on could be swept into a more effective workflow productivity programme, with real-time tracking via a digital hub linking in to self managed engagement programs. But that’s just an interim solution, giving the organisation and its people time to sit down and integrate digital maintenance solutions which completely remove the need for manual intervention in routine tasks.

With the routine taken care of not only is data security strengthened but employees are also freed up to do what people do best; working on delivering innovative solutions allied to great customer service.

Oh, and if you’re wondering why we choose 2:39 in our opening sentence; a study of office staff in 2013 revealed that that’s the time on Fridays that we switch off for the weekend.

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