11th December – The day that could be last day of work for year if IT worked properly

working during Christmas

New research finds nearly one in four employees waste between 3 and 6 hours each week due to technology problems

Today, new research has revealed that IT issues are a key stumbling block to British business productivity, with nine out of ten employees left waiting to get work done every day due to problems with technology.

Commissioned by Citrix and carried out by Censuswide, the research quizzed over 1,000 full time office workers in companies with 250 or more employees across the UK to pinpoint the biggest barriers to productivity at work.

The research offers a snapshot of the extent to which technology issues are impeding employee productivity in large UK businesses, an overview of the most common IT frustrations and insight into what employees would do with their freed-up time if fully functioning technology enabled increased productivity at work.

Nationwide ‘Out of Office Day’ set for 11th December

Employees working in an IT issue-free environment would reach the same yearly productivity level as the average office worker by Monday 11th December – highlighting the extent to which technology issues are holding back employee and business productivity.

In fact, almost a quarter of office workers surveyed spend between 3-6 hours in total each week waiting to get work done due to an IT issue. On average, office workers are left waiting for 2.03 hours each week – wasting the equivalent of 12.8 working days over the course of 2017.

Technology: enabling or inhibiting British businesses?

More than one in five surveyed office workers admit IT issues are their biggest barrier to productivity at work. In fact, almost half of respondents (45 per cent) have never had a week at work where they weren’t slowed down by IT issues across their office set up. The survey revealed the widespread impact of these technology problems, with 89 per cent of those surveyed admitting their productivity was curtailed by IT on a daily basis.

Technology glitches can cause short delays of seconds or minutes but survey responses confirmed the aggregate amount of lost time could be considerable. The poll reveals that IT issues keep 13 per cent of those surveyed waiting more than half an hour each day to get work done while almost one in 20 (4 per cent) have to wait more than an hour every day to be able to complete work tasks.

Common IT frustrations

This latest poll looked into the range of IT issues inhibiting British employees in the office, finding that screens or documents freezing is the most common IT frustration. While 30 per cent of surveyed office workers pinpointed this as a major annoyance, it was closely followed by not being able to connect to the server, a computer or device crashing and waiting for the ‘wheel of death’.

Efficient use of office time
British office workers demonstrated a clear focus on shifting to a more proactive workstyle when asked what they would choose to prioritise if IT issues were reduced, freeing up time at work. If given more “free time” at work, 13 per cent of respondents would prioritise spending more time on forward planning to be fully prepared while the same proportion would choose to manage their schedules more effectively. 12 per cent would look at boosting their productivity more generally.

Looking at the impact of increased productivity in the office and the potential for employees to log off early, this survey also considered what British office workers would do with a free day off. Almost two in five surveyed office workers would spend that extra time with family while nearly a fifth would spend it sleeping. Conversely, 11 per cent would use the time to get on with ‘life admin’ and one in 20 would spend it doing DIY instead.

Michelle Senecal de Fonseca, Area VP for Northern Europe, Citrix, said: “Many employees don’t have specialist expertise in network infrastructure, audio visual mechanics and IT support. Improving the technology that underpins office processes means that teams can focus on the important things in life: being more productive at work, spending more time with friends and family – and maybe even sleeping longer.

“All businesses are competing fiercely for talent. Quite simply, it’s those that have the easiest technology – and take time to make those micro IT changes to boost productivity – that will reap the benefits, attracting the best people to their company in the first place.”