It’s not just stationery that walks out of the office with exiting employees. According to a survey conducted by the records and information management company Iron Mountain, a significant proportion of employees has removed confidential information from the office – in spite of data protection and other information governance guidelines.
2,000 office workers in France, Germany, Spain and the UK were surveyed. 32% of them admitted to taking or forwarding confidential information on more than one occasion. Of those who are removing information:
- 51% are taking information from confidential customer databases
- 46% are taking presentations
- 21% are taking company proposals
- 18% are taking strategic plans
- 18% are taking product or service roadmaps
The employees’ attitudes to their actions are interesting. Many of those surveyed felt a sense of ‘ownership’ of the information, particularly if they had a role in creating it in the first place. 34% of respondents were completely unaware of any company guidelines regarding the removal of information from the office.
Information and data are – of course – key organisational assets. Information professionals have the opportunity to influence organisational information governance policy and educate employees about their information responsibilities.