UK's Biggest Annoyance in the Workplace - Computer Downtime
June 25, 2019
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Employees at British businesses rate computer downtime as the most significant irritant at their current workplace (41 percent) when asked to pick their top three, ahead of forgotten passwords (23 percent), the absence of parking spaces (22 percent) or stolen meeting rooms (15 percent) — according to a YouGov survey conducted on behalf of Cherwell Software.

When asked to pick their top two information technology (IT) frustrations, slow response times to fixing computer problems (29 percent) and the difficulty of reaching IT staff (24 percent) to fix PC were a top notch up our stress levels even higher in today’s digitally connected workplace.

Other key findings include:

■ 57 percent of employees don’t understand the meaning of digital transformation — 20 percent had no idea what it meant, and 37 percent misinterpreted the concept.

■ 91 percent do not describe their companies as digital innovators and nearly two-thirds (64%) believe their companies only take on new technology after it has already become widely available.

■ 38 percent think their business is "poor" at managing technological change.

■ 42 percent of employees believe their business does not integrate data sharing and processes well across departments.

■ Head of IT rather than the board members or the CEO should be held most accountable for a major IT failure according to employees (31 percent compared to 11 percent and 9 percent respectively).

■ More than one in four employees’ (28 percent) believe the leadership team with their business would be ineffective in handling a major IT failure.

■ HR departments rank lower than IT and facilities management teams in responsiveness to employees’ needs (51 percent compared to 60 percent and 55 percent respectively).

The survey highlights the huge importance of digital connectivity in our working day and explores the confidence in British management to handle major IT disruptions effectively. In the past 12 months, organizations from banks, airlines all the way through to the UK court and justice system have been hit with IT outages that have led to significant disruptions to daily operations, caused customers to defect to other brands and, in some cases, has led to the resignation of chief executives and members of the management teams. In a report from the consumer group Which? in March 2019, it was revealed that a significant IT shutdown happens to at least one UK bank every day.

Interestingly, when asked who should be held most accountable for a major IT failure, 31 percent of employees point the finger of blame squarely at IT leaders for IT failures, which have a major impact on customers and business productivity. This compares to just 11 percent leveling the blame at the board and 9 percent at the CEO.

According to Josh Caid, Chief Evangelist for Cherwell Software, “It’s evident that there’s little confidence among the workforce that British businesses have learned valuable lessons from widely-publicized technology system failures. Unlike disruptions caused by data breaches, failures during planned internal IT migrations and upgrades are particular sore spots for employees and the public alike who – rightly so – become skeptical of the potential for effective change management.”

Methodology: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. The total sample size was 501 Great Britain employees. Fieldwork was undertaken between January 31 - February 4, 2019. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of British business size with 50 plus employees.

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