SoftwareONE has published the findings of a survey of 2,000 UK office workers, which highlights how a better understanding of IT office suites can transform the work-life balance and productivity of people who use a computer for work. The study revealed 20 per cent of office workers feel their work performance was hindered by their lack of IT knowledge; 15 per cent added they were too shy or embarrassed to ask for help using office suites, causing it to affect their time management.
The research, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of SoftwareONE as part of National Work Life Week (7th – 11th October), also found office workers spend around two hours each day browsing their inbox, with a typical employee sending 10 emails per day to colleagues when it could be simpler to speak to them face-to-face or via instant message. More than half (54 per cent) of those surveyed said their productivity and focus is hampered by regularly checking their inbox but they felt it was something they needed to do. The result is around five hours per week (or 230 hours per year) of productivity which is lost.
Andy Dunbar, service lead, Technology Services at SoftwareONE, said: “Office workers are constantly checking emails when they don’t need to, and it is making work harder by unnecessarily taking up our time and causing us to lose focus. But it needn’t be the case. Collaborative tools like Microsoft Teams, which many office workers have access to but aren’t aware of, make it easy to message, chat or collaborate on documents with co-workers without reverting to email. If email is needed, simple things like only opening up your email once per hour can transform your efficiency.”
The research also highlights how in recent years, technology has improved work-life balance for office workers with more and more companies allowing staff to work from home; half of the office workers surveyed said their employer will let them work from home for at least one day a week. However, this is by no means universal, as some respondents still said their employer had an "old-fashioned" approach and didn't allow them to work from home despite technology enabling people to carry out their job to the same level from a remote location.
Andy Dunbar added: “We need to look at how maximising the functions of available tools and technology can revolutionise our organisational skills and boost output. Tools like MyAnalytics can help you manage your email usage better by cutting out unproductive use, while collaborative tools allow groups of people to work on documents simultaneously from remote locations. This helps to empower staff, enhance productivity and improve work-life balance.”