New survey exposes the reality of hybrid working, with almost seven hours wasted per week due to poor digital experience and employee wellbeing
New research of 2,000 UK hybrid workers has revealed the scale of lost time and money businesses are experiencing as they undergo the post-pandemic shift to a hybrid model. The survey, from workforce analytics specialist, Scalable Software, finds an average of 6.96 hours per week are wasted as employees struggle with a lack of access to technology and with technology that doesn’t work. This equates to a significant annual productivity loss of £2.1bn for UK PLC*. The survey also highlights the impact that substandard technology and poor digital experiences are having on wellbeing. Employees are working an extra 2.2 weeks a year because of poorly designed workflows, a lack of user-friendly applications, and because they are not equipped with the right technology.
“The world of work has undergone its biggest transformation in decades, and many businesses are still struggling to adapt. Inadequate technologies and poor experiences are costing organisations billions in terms of productivity. This clearly is not sustainable,” said Mark Devereux, CTO, Scalable Software. “There’s no doubt that spotting and rectifying technology or wellbeing issues is harder when the workforce is dispersed, but organisations must act now to cut out this waste. This means ensuring an in-depth understanding of employee’s hybrid working experience. This will reduce the impact of bad experiences on employees and on the business, and halt the “mission creep” of work into home life before it has a detrimental effect on wellbeing. Ultimately, organisations need a new lens through which to measure the impact of hybrid working so they can help employees thrive.”
The research shows that organisations are aware of the need to treat digital experience with importance; 79% of hybrid workers say their employer has realised they need to pay more attention to digital experience and employee wellbeing in a hybrid model. Yet despite increased awareness, only 1 in 2 (51%) employees report a good digital experience at work. This has a knock-on effect on worker wellbeing. More than half (54%) say poor digital experiences have left them feeling frustrated and 38% say it has reduced job satisfaction. The risk to businesses is that unhappy workers will simply leave; 30% say a substandard digital experience has either made them want to leave a job or has contributed to them leaving a job.
Employers must address these issues and take steps to preserve the benefits of hybrid working while protecting staff. HR teams need visibility into distributed workers’ wellbeing to spot those at risk of feeling isolated or burned out. IT teams need to understand digital experience in depth, to identify digital fail-points and remove these blockers to success. Skilled IT teams have proved indispensable as the shift to hybrid working has accelerated, but the research shows that IT can still do more to provide for employees. Half (49%) of respondents said that IT treats most employees the same and doesn’t understand how they work as individuals.
“In today’s data-driven world, organisations monitor the user experiences of customers as standard. But many are not investing the same amount in understanding the experiences of employees,” said Devereux “This has to change. As hybrid working becomes a mainstay of 21st century life, it’s time for a new approach. Organisations need sophisticated workforce analytics that bridge the gap between IT and HR, and provide common and consistent metrics. This includes data from physical technology assets, as well as insights into an individual’s working patterns and interactions. When businesses understand the digital journey in detail, they can make changes to measure, optimise and transform the employee experience, and stop time and money being wasted.”
*Based on statistics from Office for National Statistics, Scalable Software calculated the number of UK knowledge workers (those whose work depends to some extent on access to a smartphone and/or computer – e.g., managers & directors, professional and associated professional occupations, administrative and secretarial occupations) as 20,161,900, and the average hourly pay for UK knowledge workers at £15.13.
This research was commissioned by Scalable Software and conducted by independent research company, Coleman Parkes. Fieldwork was conducted in July 2021. Respondents consist of 2,000 UK hybrid workers who use some type of IT in their work, in companies of between 500 – 2,000 employees.
About Scalable Software
Founded in 2008, Scalable Software delivers comprehensive, granular and intelligent analytics tools that give organisations a real-time business lens to improve digital agility and empower employees to thrive. Its workplace analytics platform, Acumen, enables organisations to measure, optimise and transform the employee experience.
Acumen collates and distils data using agent and agentless discovery from across an organisation’s technology infrastructure. Using a blend of digital KPIs and metrics, insights are delivered to leadership, IT and HR teams, giving them deep visibility into how the hybrid working model is performing. Armed with this knowledge, organisations can drive digital agility – by protecting employee wellbeing, optimising the digital experience, boosting employee success, and reducing complexity and cost.
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