A quarter of office workers are wasting their employers more than £2,000 (US$2,426) per year by excessive document printing, says 1&1 Internet.

The web hosting firm's 'UK Digital Office Audit' revealed that 37 percent of businesses lose money because staff don't share electronic documents, while 53 percent said poor or non-existant archiving of emails was holding their company back.

Furthermore, a third of firms admitted they have a number if documents saved on machines that not all colleagues can access, and only a quarter of companies have a strategy in place for increasing their efficiency in handling electronic data.

1&1 also said nearly a third (29 percent) of businesses admitted that electronic documents are frequently deleted in error and 25 percent of companies claim their email accounts are regularly clogged with large attachments, which subsequently has a negative effect on performance when sending attachments to other members of staff.

More than half of firms (53 percent) also said they don't have access to shared calendars across their staff.

When it comes to storing files, 25 percent believe work is often repeated because the original electronic documents can not be found while 29 percent admitted time is wasted because staff have different storage system for their file. One in five also said the server where electronic files are stored is 'disorganised'.

Furthermore, nearly half (46 percent) said they still keep paper copies of documents as well as the electronic originals and the use of paper files leads to a shortage of physical office space for 27 percent of companies.

"For many firms, out-dated or inefficient methods of handling and storing electronic materials can negatively impact performance, costs and so their bottom line," said Oliver Mauss, CEO, at 1&1 Internet.

"Companies of all types can benefit from examining how their day-to-day use of office technology can be enhanced. There are now intuitive web-based options for document creation, collaboration and storage that can increase mobility, raise efficiencies and benefit the environment as well as the balance sheet".