Most people have at least some understanding of traditional hoarding. A person collects and saves things to an irrational degree, and it eventually becomes a detriment to their life in a variety of ways. Hoarders may save all sorts of things like obsolete electronic devices, old newspapers, clothes, and in some cases it might even be animals.
A newer issue that many people are not aware of is the problem of digital hoarding. Essentially, people who suffer from this lack any skills (or the will to engage) in any sort of content management. The digital world of these individuals will become so cluttered and disorganized that it starts to cost them financially and it diminishes their ability to live a productive life.
Newfound Phenomenon: Digital Hoarding
When a person hoards in the physical realm, it is much easier to identify, and the affect is more apparent. The home of the individual fills up with the product of their hoarding, it becomes difficult to navigate the space and with many hoarders, and the sanitary conditions of the home begin to lapse. (Beck, 2012)
The problem with digital hoarding is similar to traditional hoarding in many ways. The individual cannot bear to delete emails because they fear that they might need them someday, or they keep various files and programs on their computer, even with the realization that they will never need to access them again. (Beck, 2012)
This can cost the person in their need to buy additional storage devices, or in a loss of productivity that can come with the need to look through and sort thousands of files and emails any time that they need to access one that may be of actual use. This irrational need to hang on to files, programs, and digital communications, along with the accompanying disorganization, can cost a person several hours in productivity in a single week
The Struggle Is Real
Many people doubt the idea that digital hoarding can be a serious issue. They think about how cheap things like external hard drives and cloud storage have become, and they assume that the ability to add more storage space will solve the problem. While the ability to add storage space can be great for a variety of situations, for a digital hoarder, it actually makes the problem worse.
As an example, take the story of a 47-year old man from Amsterdam who was the subject of a recent study. This man takes and saves approximately 1,000 digital photos per day and spends anywhere from 3 to 5 hours organizing the files on a daily basis. In the study, it was revealed that he has a total of 8 external hard drives for storing the photos and for making backups. (Davies, 2015)
The man has even admitted that he never uses or looks at the photos and that the issue has caused problems with his ability to take care of daily tasks. It has even impacted his sleeping habits. (Davies, 2015)
While this case may be toward the extreme end of the issue, it does illustrate just how problematic digital hoarding can be when a person lets it get out of control.
Learning to Let Go with eFileCabinet
Digital hoarding can be an issue for businesses as well as individuals. A company may save files from a project that was completed several years ago, even when they have no practical use for the current operations of the business.
Businesses in complex industries like oil and gas can accumulate files and digital communications at a rapid pace, and if they are not managed correctly, the digital disorganization can easily become a problem that is similar to digital hoarding.
As a means to eliminate some of this clutter, and achieve better organizations, companies can use document management systems from eFileCabinet. With eFileCabinet, you can get specialized solutions that are designed for everything from the oil and gas industry, to manufacturing, health care, and government needs.
The use of eFileCabinet can help with hoarding in the physical space that your company has, and it can also assist with issues related to digital hoarding. With features like automatic document retention and deletion, your files can be managed more effectively, and the centralized storage of information can assist with file retrieval.
You can scan all of your physical documents to reduce the amount of physical storage space that you will need, and once in the eFileCabinet system, the documents will be managed to improve organization and accessibility.
While these are major advantages to the document management system from eFileCabinet, it also provides the user with advanced security features. With the SecureDrawer, your document will be safe and only accessible to users who have the approval to access them.
If your company’s file system is disorganized and overwhelmed by documents that are no longer needed, then it is probably costing the business time, productivity and money. To get out from under the issue of digital hoarding, the best solution for a business is to employ the use of a document management system.