By Saman Rizwan
Half of employed Americans have been so frustrated with their workplace tech that they’ve switched jobs — or are actively applying, according to new research.
The survey of 1,000 hybrid or remote workers and 1,000 IT professionals found 11% have left their job to find better tech, while 42% have applied to other jobs without actually switching.
Results found that 20% “always” have bad experiences with their workplace technology, facing an average of 18 frustrations during the average work week — adding up to 102 minutes of lost productivity weekly.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Compucom, the survey delved into the specific frustrations respondents face and also asked IT workers for their professional opinions about workplace tech.
When asked what their daily frustrations are, slow websites topped the list (35%) — followed by a lack of access to certain online resources when working from home (28%), and needing to restart their computer (28%).
Issues connecting when switching between in-office and at-home use (27%) and having to troubleshoot problems by themselves (25%) rounded out the top five issues.
The microphone or microphone not working (25%), having to repeatedly input their password (24%), and needing a password to perform any updates on their computer (23%), also contribute to respondents’ frustration.
Some of these problems may simply be caused by old technology — a quarter of respondents said the tech they use for work is at least five years old.
Not only are these issues frustrating, but they may lead to bigger security risks: 79% have switched to their personal devices after facing tech issues.
If companies invested more in their technology, employee satisfaction and retention would increase, according to 93% of respondents.
Results also found that good tech can lead to more engaged employees — 77% of respondents said they would be more committed to their roles if their company provided them with better technology.
“We know that employee experience is directly correlated with customer experience. A good employee experience usually translates to a better overall customer experience,” said Heather Lockhart, Compucom’s CMO.
Results found, too, that 65% place great importance on having good technology for work.
This is even more important for respondents who work at enterprise companies (companies with 1001+ employees) — of those, 71% placed a great value on good tech.
Because of how important technology is to today’s workforce, respondents were also asked about the IT teams at their company — and generally, the attitude was positive.
During the past year, specifically, 53% said their company’s IT team has been easy to work with. Employees surveyed also found IT responsive and even more helpful over the past year — with the switch to remote and hybrid work — than they were previously (both 48%).
That positive feeling extended the other way, as well: 88% of IT professionals surveyed felt more valued by their company since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Still, the survey asked IT professionals what they’d like people to understand about their role.
Forty-five percent of IT professionals surveyed said “it’s easy to blame IT when things go wrong, but we’re underappreciated when things are working right,” while 41% wanted people to understand that systems and software require constant maintenance and upkeep.
Others said that it always takes more time than people think to fix tech issues (44%) — and that training and learning new platforms and applications for troubleshooting is endless (41%).
A third of IT respondents (36%) would also like their colleagues to know that “simple” requests aren’t always simple. And one respondent wanted others to know, “I am a person with real feelings, which should always be considered when requests are being made.”
“With today’s hybrid workforce relying on technology more than ever, what we do is critically important,” said Lockhart. “And we are uniquely positioned to optimize the employee experience because we provide the crucial end-to-end capabilities and support required to enable effective hybrid work.”