Workthere Research Reveals £11billion Tech Drain On UK Businesses

According to Workthere, the average UK worker wastes 50 hours a year as a result of failing technology in the office, equating to £11bn for UK businesses.
  • Flexible workspace specialist Workthere has discovered that UK businesses lose an estimated £11billion* a year due to inefficient office technology.
  • Employees waste around 50 hours a year as a result of failing technology in the traditional workplace environment.
  • 73% of office workers use photocopiers and 42% still rely on fax machines, proving that the paper-reliant office is far from dead.

According to new research from serviced office specialist Workthere, the average UK worker is wasting 50 hours a year as a result of failing technology in the office, which Workthere estimates could result in an £11 billion loss for UK businesses, based on employment data from the ONS*.

In particular, the next generation of office workers, those aged between 16 and 24, struggle most with outdated tech, wasting 62% more time every week on inefficient technology (67 minutes) compared to their colleagues aged 55 or over (41 minutes).

The survey of over 1,000 UK office workers, commissioned by Workthere and carried out by independent research company CensusWide, also found that it took around 42 working hours for an individual office employee to fully familiarise themselves with each new piece of software, which Workthere estimates equals around £830 worth of a professional employee’s time**.

With businesses having introduced an average of four pieces of new software over the past three years, 45% of workers claim that despite their employers’ investment in new technology, they don’t invest enough time into training staff to use it properly.

Cal Lee, founder of Workthere, commented:

“With regards to the serviced office market in particular, the first thing we are asked about, after the cost, is what specification of technology will be available for a business to use. The office tech inventory can affect profits as well as play a vital role in the perception of a business, both internally and externally.

“Gone are the days of just ‘location, location, location’ – in the eyes of office workers, digital connectivity tops the list of innovations that will improve the office working experience in the next few years.”

Workthere found that office technology can have a direct impact on employee performance and efficiency, with many employees believing that their company’s investment into its office technology is linked to its investment into staff welfare and how it conducts business.

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The survey results showed that almost half (46%) of respondents said a business with cheap office technology is probably not going to invest in the wellbeing of its staff. In addition, 24% indicated that they wouldn’t be prepared to do business with companies that do not have the most up-to-date office technology.

While the research shows that the paper-reliant office is far from dead, with 73% of office workers using photocopiers and 42% fax machines, it also shows that 42% of respondents use cloud technology for file sharing and 36% have video conferencing capabilities.

Cal continues: “The digital revolution is clearly taking a firm grip of office spaces. We found that connected technology is by far the number one technology that office workers deem most useful to improve the way they work in the next five years, with voice activated tech and wireless charging pads taking spot two and three respectively.

“Whilst different businesses will have different priorities, office tech that works efficiently and improves productivity without proving a distraction, or making staff anxious about using it, is definitely high on the agenda for both staff and employers. It is therefore increasingly important for businesses to know that their office spaces are able to facilitate a smooth tech experience.”

About the research:

Workthere partnered with CensusWide to target over 1,000 UK office workers and conducted an online survey between 31 January and 1 February 2018.

*Calculations based on research of 1,000 general office workers with no extra quotas set and compared directly to the ONS figures for office workers.

The data set on the number of UK employees can be accessed here (released 16 August 2017)

**Workthere estimated the equivalent monetary value using ONS data on the average gross hourly earnings of UK professionals.