LONDON — Employees in the UK’s private sector are wasting a whole working day every month due to IT issues, at an annual cost of £35 billion ($ 44.9 billion) to the UK economy, according to new research by IT provider Managed 24/7 and YouGov.
It found that an average of 5.59% of an employee’s productive time is wasted on IT problems. That equates to 27 minutes every day, 2.5 hours every week, or a whole day every month.
The survey asked 2,015 private sector workers about their experience of IT, including whether it was outdated, how much training they received and whether it was available at the right times.
The most common IT problems experienced by workers are slow running systems and equipment, failures in internet connection, outdated kit, and software and equipment not being ready for a new starter.
Less than 15% of people said they hadn’t experienced any IT problems in the past year. In bigger firms, more people said they thought their workplace IT systems were damaging their ability to do good work.
“The UK is facing a productivity crisis,” said John Pepper, CEO and founder of Managed 24/7. “In light of recent outrages such as at British Airways and the NHS, it is time for the UK to address the issue to ensure we aren’t left behind by our more agile neighbours,” he says.
The UK is in the middle of a worsening productivity crisis, and it currently takes a British worker four days to produce what our German counterparts make in four. The government’s 2016 Autumn Statement provided £0.7 billion to improve internet connections, but made no other provision for improved IT services or training. Instead, spending was targetted at areas considered “critical for productivity,” such as housing, research and development (R&D) and economic infrastructure.
But the report says this ignores a huge underlying problem.
The wasted time, it calculates, amounts to £1,499 per employee lost every year, or £35 billion ($ 44.9 billion). That loss, it says, is the equivalent of the entire populations of Cardiff and Birmingham not working at all for a whole year.