Do you ever get to the end of your seemingly long workday and wonder where the time went and what you accomplished? This is a fairly common occurrence across workplaces in American cities and towns, day after day. If you’re asking yourself “What did I actually do today?” regularly, it’s time to evaluate the issues that are impeding your productivity. While sometimes the loss of productivity time is due to never-ending meetings or client inquiries, other instances of technical glitches, employee technology inexperience, and employees struggling through tech problems seem to be among some of the top “time-sucks” in the business world today. Over the past year, several large tech firms and IT experts have spent a bit of time studying this phenomenon of lost time due to tech issues that we would like to take a closer look at today. Our main focus will be on what these studies have discovered about business technology issues as they relate to lost efficiency and productivity, as well as suggesting a few techniques that can be used to reduce lost time in a proactive rather than reactive manner.
What The Numbers Tell Us About Lost Time
No matter how adept you think you are at the technology at your business or organization, there will always be technical issues as software is upgraded, hardware gets replaced, or the employee learning curve is tested. The level at which these issues impact your business productivity and efficiency will vary, but there will almost always be some sort of issue (either minor or major) as this field is constantly growing and evolving to meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses across the globe. According to a recent survey by Robert Half Technology, “workers spend about 22 minutes each day dealing with some type of IT issue. That adds up to an eye-opening 91 hours annually or two weeks of downtime for each employee in your organization.”Gemma Staines, an IT Support Provider and expert in the field of IT studying this phenomenon, explains that “Multiple studies show that the average employee wastes too much of their typical workday on non-work related, time-consuming activities. Exclude procrastination (50% of distractions include non-work use such as social media), trying to fix their computer or trying to find a person who can help with their specific problem is next.”PCMagazine online explored an associated aspect of lost time due to employees assisting other employees. They found that a 2022 OSlash study illuminated exactly how much co-workers depend on each other for tech help. They found that “nearly half (48%) say they turn to a co-worker for help at least once per day, and one out of five say they’re the ones approaching others for assistance. The most common things they need help with are software malfunctions (37%), hardware issues (34%), scanner or printer issues (30%), searching for computer files (29%), and frozen computers (29%).”These minutes turn into hours, which turn into lost revenue for businesses that count on high levels of productivity and efficiency to balance the books. These studies also show that there’s a generational divide when it comes to who asks and who answers technical questions. One in five Americans report that having to help a coworker with a technical issue has impaired their ability to get their own work done in a timely manner. Gen Zers were the most likely to report this at 27%. According to the Pew Research Center, Generation Z consists of people born between 1997 and 2012. The oldest of this generation are reaching 25 years of age. They follow on the heels of the millennials (born between 1981 and 1996). This group in particular is being hit with questions throughout the day to assist less technically savvy coworkers. This group then may prove to be the least productive, not due to their inefficiency, but due to being bogged down by coworkers’ technical questions and issues.
Some Solutions to Lost Time
Lost time can not be eradicated completely and allowing coworkers to talk to each other about common tech issues can be a good thing, there are some solutions to reduce lost productivity.
Invest in robust and reliable systems that are intuitive to use and have a track record for ease of use and maintenance.
Update software and apps on a regular basis.
Devise an ongoing strategy for training at the onboarding level as well as at regular intervals as refresher courses for all employees. Multiple learning opportunities should include guest trainers, weekly training, refresher courses, and hands-on Q&A sessions.
Avoid rolling out new technology too often.
Invest in a Managed Support & Consulting or Managed Services that will have the bandwidth to handle ongoing training, employee questions, and handle technical issues without taking time away from your other employees’ responsibilities. The expert experience and skill level of managed providers far surpasses a layman’s learning found in a typical office. This means that when employees have a question, rather than taking the time of a coworker, they can call a helpline or request assistance from the provider.
Not only can a service provider, like Spectra Networks save your organization time (productivity) but can also save you money in the long run. Both major and minor tech issues can add up to hours, days, or, in worse case scenarios, weeks of low productivity over the course of a year. Let the actual tech experts be the tech experts for your business. This frees up the time of your team to concentrate on the primary business of your industry. Talk to Spectra Networks about the options for your team whether you want consulting, Managed Support, or a more comprehensive Managed Service menu.