IT issues cost UK businesses £3.4bn in ‘lost productivity’

The minutes racked up from IT problems comes at a staggering cost to businesses, according to a UK survey.
17 May 2019

All those lost minutes add up quickly. Source: Shutterstock

Businesses are losing out both financially and on productivity levels due to their workplace IT systems, new research has revealed.

A survey of 1,137 UK workers in full or part-time employment, carried out by technology services provider Probrand has revealed that companies are losing a shocking £3.4 billion (US$4.3 billion) every year due to IT issues.

The surveyed workers, who all use IT systems in their workplace, said they waste an average of 5 percent of their working day due to connection or technology related issues.

Losing 5 percent of a working day to tech issues equates to 21 minutes of lost productivity per day, 1.75 hours a week, or 7 hours (one working day) per month.

All these lost minutes weigh up to a total £3.4 billion in working time to UK employers annually.

The top five workplace IT issues reported by UK workers were: slow running equipment (34 percent), internet connectivity issues (27 percent), cyber breaches (19 percent), additional equipment such as printers and scanners not working (11 percent), and finally, outdated hardware (9 percent).

More than a quarter (27 percent) of UK workers said that their workplace IT systems are hindering their productivity, with this number rising to 33 percent in larger companies with in-house IT departments.

Those surveyed who have an in-house IT department said their colleagues within that department often appear to be under-resourced when resolving technical issues, with problems taking an average of 6.2 hours to be resolved after being reported. Knowing that they will have to wait for assistance, many workers are attempting to resolve the IT issue themselves, but by doing so, are detracting themselves from their own work, and often making the problem worse.

“A productive workforce is integral to the success of a business, as is ICT in enabling that. It’s clear from our findings that businesses are not helping themselves when it comes to resolving IT related issues,” said Matt Royle, Marketing Director at Probrand.

“Naturally, issues arise from the IT itself as well as end-user error. Employee training can help here on basic use of IT systems, processes and company policies – particularly when it comes to cyber and data security.  

“As the data shows, in-house IT departments are stretched more than ever and this is resulting in 6 percent less end-user productivity than those without an internal IT team.  IT departments are expected to fix end user issues fast, maintain everyday systems and drive business growth by creating and delivering cutting edge technology strategies.

“With companies wasting an eye-watering £3.4 billion in lost productivity each year, it’s clearly time for those with and without internal IT teams to take a new look at how to tackle end-user issues.”