How much is outdated technology costing your business?

When is the last time you updated your workplace technology? Find out how much outdated tech could be costing your business.

New research by Currys PC World in collaboration with Theo Priestley, a futurist and technology expert, has revealed that tech delays are eating into a shocking 46 minutes of the average employee’s working day.

As if that in itself wasn’t shocking enough, this lost time is estimated to cost a business approximately £2,752 a year. 

Time and money are not the only things lost to outdated technology, however, as half of Brits admit that it has a negative impact on their productivity in their jobs. What’s more, morale can be impacted when employees feel they have to work overtime to make up the time they have lost due to tech issues. 

While the cost of upgrading technology throughout a workplace may seem steep, the consequences of outdated technology could be more costly in the long run – in more way than one.

The average employee loses 24 days of worktime a year

46 minutes of lost work a day adds up to 24 days over a working year. This means that office workers spend more time waiting on slow technology than they spend on holiday.

And that’s not the only significant cost old technology could be costing you:

  • 8.5 days are lost per employee to opening and sending emails, costing you around £975.
  • Tech delays eat into 8.8 days’ worth of meeting time per employee, which could cost a business £1,009.
  • Slow software could cost a business £1,193 per employee due to tech delays taking up an average of 10.4 days of worktime.
  • Just booting up the computer wastes 8.8 days of worktime for the average British worker, costing £1,009 per employee a year.

In business, time is money. And if time is lost, money is lost. So attempting to save money by hanging onto old hard and software could easily be a false economy. Because rather than saving money by investing in the latest technology, you’re wasting it in lost time.

As Theo Priestley says:

The value of upgrading technology goes beyond improved efficiency through automation. Deployed in the right way, the right technology can promote a more collaborative and diverse workforce and encourage them to be more productive. Technology can also promote an inclusive culture, improving morale and connecting employees and disparate departments that would normally operate in silos.”

Old technology could be an expensive security risk

Lost working time isn’t the only expense that outdated technology can lead to. Another factor to consideration is security. Old technology and software that’s not been updated can leave your business financially and intellectually vulnerable, as Priestley explains:

“Outdated technology and software means easy exploitation from inside and outside the organisation. If you’re not using the latest versions of operating systems, or software that you’ve invested in then there’s greater chance for someone to exploit known weaknesses in that system and expose or steal data or valuable company information from them.”

Half of Brits admit their productivity suffers at the hands of outdated workplace tech

Delays experienced due to outdated workplace technology could not only cost a business money, but also be harmful to the productivity and morale of the workforce.

While half of Brits admit that they’re less productive at work when they have to put up with lagging tech, a third also say they lose motivation, and 1 in 5 lose their train of thought when they stop to wait for a tech hold-up.

This is frustrating for anyone to deal with on a daily basis, but 1 in 10 would go as far as to say outdated technology makes them want to quit their job, to seek another opportunity in a business that offers equipment that will empower them in their work.

Gen Z are the most likely to feel this way – as a generation brought up on technology – with a fifth admitting they’d leave a job for this reason. 

To add fuel to the fire, the consequences of tech delays and lost productivity are encroaching on Brits’ personal lives, with over a quarter saying they work extra hours to make up for time lost throughout the day. Londoners are the most likely to put in overtime than any other city, with 74% staying late to meet deadlines.

Advanced technology could lead to a four-day working week 

When it comes to employee retention and talent attraction, the option to work remotely is one of the most attractive perks a business can offer in the current landscape.

This said, for this set-up to work efficiently, businesses must supply their staff with the appropriate technology. While 70% of businesses allow remote working, 1 in 10 workers say the tech they have been provided with is unreliable and another 1 in 10 don’t know how to use the equipment they have been provided with.

Current advances in technology will lead us to work more collaboratively and remotely, what employees must demand of their organisations is the ability to invest and use these technologies to work more flexibly.

In 2018, YouGov reported that 85% of the UK workforce believe their productivity would increase if they were allowed to work remotely. This is backed up by a test Microsoft ran in Japan. They trailed a four-day working week and saw a 40% increase in productivity.

The ultimate goal is for technology to enable productivity gains to achieve the same amount of work in a shorter period, and give that time back to the employee to explore their creative side, spend more time with family, learn new skills outside of the workplace. And for companies to reap the rewards with boosted productivity when their employees are at work.

With an increase in automation and the opportunity to work from almost anywhere, in theory a reduced week should be a realistic prospect. 

You can read the research in full here.

Photo by Diane Helentjaris