Wasted potential: 30% of office workers avoid using technology
In the era of digital transformation, offices are inundated with many technologies that are supposed to make routine tasks more efficient. However, not all technology is easy to understand or use without training, and this is having serious consequences for European businesses, according to research1 from Sharp. Many office employees are avoiding complicated technology, or pretend that it is broken to avoid having to use it. Productive work? Not at all.
A third (30 percent) of the office workers surveyed prefer to completely bypass the problem by simply not using complicated office technology. 39 percent would rather use their own devices, more consumer-friendly tools such as smartphones or laptops, because they are easier to use. A quarter of office workers (26 percent) admitted to pretending that a device was broken, to avoid using it.
The survey revealed a lack of experience around digital technology in particular, with only 31% of people saying they would feel confident in organising an online conference call.
Over half of all those surveyed (54 percent) are convinced that their work would become much easier if newer technologies were available. Another 46 percent admit that they would give greater priority to sharing information with colleagues in other departments, were it not for the technical obstacles.
Professor Dr. Sascha Stowasser, Director of the German Institute for Applied Work Sciences, offered this advice to businesses: - If we want to jump on the digitisation train, we have to pay attention to three important things: First: Listen to the employees. If technology is not used extensively and in a manner that is meaningful, then it obviously requires more explanation. Second: Offer further training. Employees are confronted with a large number of new technologies, particularly in the age of digitisation. But further training and life-long learning can do away with the fear of using the new technologies. And third: Sometimes less is more. Operating instructions should not be a PhD thesis. The technology that we use every day in the office must be intuitive and must make our work routines more efficient, not create more work.
- In the best case scenario, the technologies used for every-day office activities are self-explanatory and do not require any further explanation or even training. - adds Szymon Trela, Product Manager, Sharp Electronics CEE. - Technology should help, not hinder, and solutions must be designed with the user in mind. Companies simply cannot afford to lose so much productive potential.
Sharp has produced a free guide including advice from Dr Sascha Stowasser on how to improve productivity in the workplace, available from www.sharp.co.uk/unlock or your local sharp webpage/unlock.
1. Research was conducted with 6,045 office workers in nine EU countries (France, Germany, UK, Italy, Sweden, Poland, Netherlands, Czech Republic and Hungary)
PR Manager CEE