HR · 31 July 2019

Worried about office productivity? It could be your outdated technology…

office tech

One of the many pressures employers juggle is keeping up good company morale. Often, it’s easy to blame a slump in employee productivity on their own personal issues. However, you may be overlooking obvious elements in your work environment that can be improved easily.

Whilst there are many different factors that affect office productivity levels, outdated technology is one important area to consider…

Technology:

Having to use sub-standard technology can affect employee morale and productivity.

A recent study by electronics supplier, E-buyer revealed that almost a quarter of UK workers have only ever had one laptop or desktop. Many employees (54%) have also had to pay for technology themselves in order to get access to up to date equipment.

Failing to invest in functioning devices slows workers productivity down, with as many as 32% of workers questioned confessing that ill-running devices were one of the major factors that affected productivity in their workplace.

Not only does failing to invest in office technology lower staff productivity, but it also leaves businesses lagging behind competitors and more open to security risks, adds the survey.

The shift in employee work habits

Today, more employees are asking for a more flexible working life, such as requesting to work from home more often, or even wanting ‘flexible-hours.’

This is becoming the new norm and employers must rise up and improve their operations to meet these new requirements.

Providing staff with efficient and smart running equipment is essential if flexible and remote working is to be adopted in a professional manner. Employees do not want to take on the additional role of an I.T manager, so ensure that your technological equipment runs smoothly and is up to date.

This is even more important if employees are working from a distance or outside the standard 9-5 day, where they’re unable to rely on the capable hands of an office manager.

low productivity
Upskilling staff increases motivation and productivity levels.

Invest in employee training and development:

In order to maintain a healthy and productive workforce, investing in your workers, (and their skillsets), will increase their motivation – and willingness to stay in your business.

Linkedin’s 2018 workplace learning report confirmed that 94% of employees would remain within their current enviroment if it provided development schemes.

Failing to invest in staff lowers morale – and profits

The Association for talent development revealed that companies who invested in employee training received a 24% higher profit margin than those who didn’t.

Training staff to use office technology is vital if employers want to avoid wasted time and low work productivity. As many as 77% of employees questioned said employers have provided them with new office equipment but they were not taught how to use it.

While independent learning may seem like an efficient and cheaper way to manage operations in the workspace, employees still require a certain level of “how-to” in order to feel reassured and confident about using new technologies.

low productivity
A third of working brits feel undervalued in the workplace.

Open up communication

Lack of communication between employers and their workforce is also a driving factor behind low productivity.

It may seem like simple advice, but with a third of UK employees feeling undervalued at work, it’s certainly something to consider. In particular, one of the core factors that’s driving low productivity is a lack of investment in employee health and wellbeing.

As modern employees begin to asses their wellbeing at work, they are becoming more tuned into how valued they actually feel in their workspace.

As an employer, engaging with workers and understanding their needs is vital in raising productivity levels. Implementing simple steps such as one to one meetings or simply acknowledging the work they do well will boost productivity levels in the office.

But this is enshrined in fact too. Companies that provide consistent feedback to their employees possess a lower, (14.9% less), staff turnover rate than those who don’t.

low productivity
Showing your employees that you appreciate them is important if you want to retain the best talent.

Be an employer who appreciates their staff

It’s easy when you’re caught up in a stressful working week to forget the hard work employees carry out. It’s basic psychology that praise and gratitude act as an incentive to work harder.

So, allocate space in your budget, (and in your busy day) for a team lunch, drinks, a one to one meeting, or even a word of praise as a simple gesture of thanks. See how things change…

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Laura is the Junior Reporter at Real Business and Business Advice. She's the first point of call for any PR, business owner or industry insider looking to tell a story of entrepreneurial inspiration, retell some key advice, or a ground-breaking news story. She is the core ambassador for the brand(s) and can be found attending high profile events and meeting disruptive business owners across London – and beyond.

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