Poor technology blamed for longer working hours

UK office-based employees are spending the equivalent of 30 days a year working for free because of problems with technology

Inefficient technology is to blame for office workers spending anywhere between one and four extra hours at work every day, according to a recent survey.

WRQ, a software development firm that commissioned the survey, said that although technology was designed to make our jobs easier and more productive by automating many activities, poor use of technology has over-burdened the increasingly stressed office worker.

“How many times have you blamed technology for reduced productivity, wasted hours and slow-downs in activity?” said Bob Stream, UK country manager of WRQ. “Very often this is due to the lack of seamless integration between a company’s various IT systems. With the right solution, employees can access information quickly and easily, which makes options like working from home or on the move that much easier,” he said.

The result of these inefficiencies is that almost two-thirds of UK office workers put in an extra hour or more per day, which over the course of a year amounts to an extra 30 working days a year, most of which are unpaid, WRQ said.

More than ten percent of employees are working at least four hours a day outside their core business hours, which amounts to a "supermarket style" offer. “Buy two weeks and get the third free. In monetary terms, this equates to over £12,000 of free labour per employee each year," said Stream.

“Even for those employees working just one extra hour a day, this totals more than 30 working days a year -- well in excess of most people’s holiday entitlements,” he added.

Taylor Nelson Sofres conducted the survey; 430 full-time UK-based office workers were interviewed.