Nearly 10% of working week wasted

Major productivity losses caused by digital friction but US and UK IT teams lack access to relevant data to solve issues.

  • 3 weeks ago Posted in

New research from Scalable Software has revealed that IT departments are struggling to evolve and adapt to the new hybrid digital workplace, leading to significant loss of productivity for millions of workers. The survey of 400 US and UK IT decision makers (ITDMs) found that, on average, employees lose nearly four hours a week (3.78) because of digital employee experience (DEX) failings. Despite being aware of the impact poor digital experiences and digital friction have on productivity, IT teams lack the data to identify problems and optimize experiences.

An overwhelming majority (90%) of ITDMs in both the US and UK say their organization suffers from “productivity paranoia” over hybrid working. Yet, the research finds many businesses still use traditional productivity measures which are not relevant in hybrid digital workplaces – so in reality are unable to accurately assess productivity or identify where blockers occur. For instance, businesses are relying on insufficient metrics such as work output (67%), line manager assessments (56%), time tracking software (51%), and employee self-assessment (48%). The risk of relying on such limited and subjective methods is conflating an output or being present online with being productive.

“Today, productivity is underpinned by digital efficiency, and digital friction can greatly reduce an employee’s potential to be effective at work,” commented Mark Cresswell, Co-Founder, Scalable Software. “Sadly, this research shows businesses still don’t really appreciate that the metrics being used are only providing a partial picture of an employee’s job performance. Many knowledge-based jobs don’t lend themselves to a simple quantification of “output”, making it a poor measure of productivity. Further, IT teams have little to no insight into how tasks are completed, what digital friction the employee is dealing with, or where workflows could be optimized to improve efficiency.”

Previous research from Scalable Software found that 43% of knowledge workers say poor digital employee experience (DEX) has reduced their job satisfaction, while 29% say it has made them want to quit. Moreover, ITDMs and knowledge workers both identify the same top three causes of poor DEX; having to toggle between applications repeatedly to complete a task, applications that repeatedly freeze, crash or load slowly, and too many communication channels to manage resulting in “notification overload”. However, while there is a common understanding between workers and ITDMs of the major challenges, IT departments are still largely using reactive metrics to analyze DEX, including volume of IT support tickets/requests (67%), service desk performance (60%) and employee self-assessment (48%).

“With the workplace now being a primarily digital experience, IT departments must move beyond a break/fix view of supporting employees. The focus must include the elimination of digital friction, and the objective measurement of productivity to support a hybrid working environment,” continued Cresswell. “Many IT leaders understand the challenge, but the problem is they aren’t armed with the tools required to identify and tackle the productivity barriers that exist across their environment. However, for organizations that lead the way in adopting DEX analytics, the benefits are significant. By optimizing experiences and eliminating friction in digital workplaces, businesses not only get a happier, more productive workforce but also a much healthier bottom line. And at the same time, the IT department can continue its evolution from the department of break/fix to becoming the backbone of the modern enterprise.”

To successfully analyze productivity through improved DEX, organizations need to deploy platforms that can collate and distill data from every endpoint so that IT departments can accurately measure and analyze all workflows across the enterprise, regardless of whether staff work from home or in the office. These capabilities enable IT departments to proactively deliver exceptional digital experiences that help keep all employees productive and engaged.

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