Report: Password fatigue compromises employee productivity, security and well-being

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Logging in –- often considered one of the most mundane, yet essential aspects of work — has become a thorn in employees’ sides. The process is often overly complicated, disruptive, and frustrating to employees, ultimately putting important data and information at risk as employees succumb to password fatigue.

This is the conclusion of a new report by 1Password, which found that 43% of employees admit to sharing logins, delegating tasks to others, and even avoiding their work altogether to eliminate the headache of logging in –- dangerous behaviors that threaten the security of their organizations.

The report, which surveyed 2,000 North American adults who worked full-time primarily at a computer, finds that complex login procedures can waste time and stifle productivity: more than a quarter of respondents (26%) have just given up on doing something because of the hassle of logging in, and 38% have procrastinated, delegated, or skipped setting up security apps due to the burdensome steps required to log in.

Image source: 1Password.

Password fatigue is an HR issue as well

Complex logins have kept nearly one in five (19%) workers from accessing employee-provided benefits designed to reduce workplace stress. They’ve skipped open enrollment, forgone requesting time off, and missed employer-provided perks and discount marketplaces because of login challenges.


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And during a period already complicated by burnout and “quiet quitting,” more than a third of employees (37%) say that the onboarding process at their current job was time-consuming and confusing due to logging into new work-related accounts. 

The survey also found that there is widespread misunderstanding among employees around what a safe login process entails. While 89% of employees think they generally follow their employer’s guidelines, there is a great deal of confusion about what being secure actually means in 2022, given the onslaught of new threats. 

All told, despite the good intentions of employers who want to protect their companies, password fatigue is depleting employees’ energy at a perilous time driven by widespread burnout and uncertainty.

According to Karen Renaud, Ph.D., human-centric security expert and Chancellor’s Fellow and faculty member at University of Strathclyde, the research confirms that “security has become such an onerous and arduous task that people don’t even want to log in.”

Rethinking the approach to logging in, by making the process second nature and more human-centric, will go a long way towards improving employees’ mental well-being and make companies less vulnerable to security breaches.


1Password conducted this research using an online survey prepared by Method Research and distributed by Lucid among n=2,000 adults 18+ who are full-time employees at a company with 250+ employees and primarily use a computer for work. The sample consisted of n=1,500 U.S. respondents and n=500 Canadian respondents, with an even split between gender groups. Data was collected from June 7 to June 21, 2022.

Read the full report from 1Password.

Originally appeared on: TheSpuzz