IT-related issues cause employees to lose more than two weeks of work time annually, study finds

Survey says hiring top-notch tech staff, making help desk support a priority will help reduce wasted hours

Posted March 30, 2016

Employees could be losing more than two work weeks each year, not on a tropical vacation, but trying to get their computer equipment to work.

According to a new survey of U.S. office workers by Robert Half Technology, professionals waste 22 minutes each day, on average, dealing with information technology (IT)-related issues. For someone who works five eight-hour days for 50 weeks of the year, that translates into a loss of more than 91 hours per year. Despite the time spent tackling tech glitches, 65 percent of employees rate their organization's IT infrastructure good or excellent.

Workers were asked, “How many minutes per day, on average, would you say you lose due to technology issues?” The mean response was 22 minutes.

Workers were also asked, “On a scale of one to five, with one being very poor and five being excellent, how would you rate your company's technology infrastructure (e.g., computers, network connectivity, intranet, and other equipment)?” Their responses:

5 – Excellent

27 %

4 – Good

38 %

3 – Neutral

23 %

2 – Poor

9 %

1 – Very poor

3 %

Robert Half Technology offers three strategies for IT managers to save employees time dealing with tech issues.

  1. Hire help desk superheroes. Bringing in top-notch IT staff can make all the difference in keeping your employees free from tech-related woes. Make sure your IT support team is up to date on best practices so they can relay that knowledge to the rest of the company to ensure maximum efficiency.
  2. Communicate proactively. Make sure employees are set up with the right technology from day one and they know who to call when they run into trouble. Encourage help desk professionals to not only fix problems but also share best practices with those they are assisting to prevent repeat issues.
  3. Anticipate the need for additional support. Make help desk support a priority, especially during upgrades or implementations, when there may be a learning curve for users. Consider bringing in help desk consultants to augment your core team during busy times.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Technology and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 300 U.S. workers 18 years or older and employed in office environments.


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