UK businesses lose 7.5M days a year from poor technology

Survey of office workers finds each UK employee loses 11 days a year from bad technology.

The UK loses a total of 7.5 million working days every week – that’s 348 million days a year – because of poor office technology, a new study has found.

Almost 60% of people said their office IT was preventing them doing their job properly, with employees now having a more sophisticated suite of technology at home than at work. Slow office broadband speeds and work computers crashing were the most significant problems cited.

The Chelsea Apps Factory study surveyed over 1,000 office workers, asking them about their home technology and the technology that their employer provides them with.

It shows a dramatic shift over the last few decades as technology costs have fallen and once-complex systems have become easier to use – but companies appear to have been slow in capitalising on the trend.

The study reveals that, of all the technologies examined – aside from the humble printer – home equipment and services were over twice as good as the kit provided at work.

59% of respondents said that their personal mobile phone was better than the one work gave them to use. Just 11% said that their work phone was better.

Twice as many people have better mobile phone coverage at home compared to their workplace (49% vs. 23%), while four times as many people said their home tablet computer was better than the one work gives them to use (50% vs. 11%)

When it came to PCs it was closer, but still 45% of people said their home computer was better than their work computer. 34% said their work computer was better than the one they had at home.

Half of the 1,000 office workers said their broadband was better at home than at work. Less than a third said that their work broadband was better. (50% v 29%)

And with Wi-Fi, 55% said theirs was better at home than in the office. Only 23% – less than a quarter – said that their wifi was better in the office rather than at home.

In fact, the only piece of technology that people said was better in the office than at home was their printer, with 63% of respondents saying that their office printer was better than the one they had at home (20%)

“Businesses are still investing unnecessary millions on clunky, highly-complex systems, services and software that leave employees stumped, unproductive and in some cases so unhappy they would consider leaving their job,” said Mike Anderson, CEO of Chelsea Apps Factory.

“Businesses of all shapes and sizes need to embrace mobilisation, harness technology and encourage their people’s power in this new tech-driven world. The rewards in doing so are huge – as are the dangers for those that don’t.”

The research found that the average worker wastes 22 minutes a day on IT issues, which equates to 11.3 days a year. With over 30 million people in employment in the UK, that is over 7.5 million lost days of work per week, and more than 348 million lost days of work per year. Some people (6%) even reported up to an hour of their day lost every day because of poor technology. 

Not only are IT issues affecting the productivity of the UK workforce, 47% of people would consider moving job because the tech in their workplace was so poor.

Alan Dobie

Johnathon Jacobs

Alan Dobie was assistant editor at Vitesse Media Plc before moving on to a content producer role at Reed Business Information. He has over 17 years of experience in the publishing industry and has held...

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