By Daniel Hunter

Failing IT set-ups are frustrating UK office workers and impacting on businesses’ bottom lines with hundreds of hours lost each year to downtime and delays, a new study shows.

Research commissioned by leading IT Services provider, NG Bailey, sought to identify which factors most affect productivity and satisfaction levels in the workplace.

The results show that British office workers believe they could save an average of 4.3 hours a week (equating to 27 days a year) with the perfect IT set-up in place. Two-thirds (67 per cent) say that poor IT regularly holds them back from being productive, with half (49 per cent) being held back once a week or more.

Among those whose productivity has been held back by IT, almost half (44 per cent) report that they have suffered from stress as a result of failing IT not allowing them to work effectively. One in three (32 per cent) workers say they work longer hours to make up for IT failures and 30 per cent say they are forced to miss deadlines.

Bob Dunnett, managing director of NG Bailey’s IT Services division, says the impact of this on businesses is profound — and extends beyond just budget implications.

“It’s clear many businesses don’t currently provide the IT resources that could help their employees achieve maximum productivity. What we’re also seeing is that this is having a big impact on employees’ health and quality of life,” he says.

“CIOs and financial decision makers should weigh up the cost of improving their IT services with the implications of below-par IT on employees’ wellbeing and their company’s bottom line.

“With an abundance of new technologies driving innovation and driving down costs, there’s never been a better time for businesses to review their IT infrastructure.”

Other key findings include:

- IT infrastructure is key: Hardware (72 per cent), software (71 per cent) and networking (70 per cent) are the top three areas that employees view as the most important to get right in order to have a positive impact on productivity.

- Flexible working improves productivity: Four out of five (82 per cent) of office workers say flexible working hours (including the ability to work from home) would have a positive impact on employee productivity.

- BYOD impacts on satisfaction: More than half (57 per cent) of employees who are able to bring their own devices (BYOD) to work say this has a positive impact on their productivity. Nearly a third (29 per cent) of BYOD users say they are very satisfied with their office environment, compared to just 13 per cent of those in businesses without a BYOD policy.

- Hunger to innovate: 91 per cent of those surveyed want to try new technologies at work if this will make them more productive. However, fewer than half (46 per cent) of office workers view their employer as innovative when it comes to IT in the workplace.

- Willingness to sacrifice to succeed: Nearly half (44 per cent) of office workers say they would sacrifice their Christmas party in order to get the perfect IT set-up, and a staggering seven per cent of 18-34 year old employees say they’d even give up part of their salary.

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