Some 64% of key decision makers in UK companies with more than 1,000 employees have huge piles of unfiled paper on their desk, according a survey by research house Vanson Bourne.
The research, commissioned by Toshiba as part of a campaign for more responsible printing and intelligent filing in the workplace, found that more than half of respondents said they would eventually file important documents, and 40% admitted they would rather throw printed paper away than worry about filing it.
The worst culprits for paper hoarding were professionals in the retail, distribution and transport industries (68%). Manufacturing office workers appear to be the UK's tidiest, with 70% saying they file their paper documents regularly.
According to Craig Knight, a professor from the University of Exeter, UK office workers have lost the skill of filing. As many as 41% of respondents admitted to not tidying their desk on a regular basis.
Steve Hewson at Toshiba said, "There seems to be a tendency to print documents for one-time use, but by scanning documents and filing them electronically, these would become much more available to the rest of the organisation, free up desk space, and reduce the amount of paper being wasted."