Businesses are losing millions of working hours each week because of employees’ difficulties adopting software, it has been claimed.
As businesses look to tech and new software to facilitate the move to hybrid working and improve productivity, German technology provider Userlane, has found that about two-fifths (40%) of staff report software problems “often” or “all the time”.
Remote and hybrid working arrangements have exacerbated the problem, the firm’s research claimed.
Lost productivity was only one of the problems, said Userlane, with about one in 10 employees acknowledging that they had considered leaving their jobs because of difficulties using software.
The company’s State of Digital Adoption report suggests that larger companies spend upward of £2,000 per year per head on software training but despite this most employees (61%) were wasting at least 30 minutes a week tackling software-related issues.
The research found that four in 10 employees (40%) frequently experienced frustration or difficulty when using software, with most (70%) stating that their overall use of technology at work had increased over the past two years.
The three most commonly reported causes of software frustration were:
- The software is time-consuming to use (44%)
- The IT department does not respond to queries or issues quickly enough (39%)
- The software involves too many complex processes (23%)
The survey also revealed a clear relationship between the employee experience and use of software at work. A large majority of respondents (88%) agreed that being able to use software without frustration was key to both their happiness at work and productivity.
The potential impact on employee wellbeing and productivity was reflected in how employees typically responded to software challenges, suggested Userlane:
- Just under half (44%) have postponed important work tasks
- Four in ten (41%) have openly complained to their employer
- Around a fifth (18%) have looked for a way to complete the same tasks manually
- One in ten (10%) have refused to continue using the software.
In a separate survey of senior decision makers at mid-sized and large organisations, Userlane found that almost all (96%) businesses faced digital adoption challenges, meaning that they were struggling to achieve full employee usage of, and value from, their investments in workplace technology, including software.
This caused increased IT costs (38%), higher training costs (32%) and reduced employee productivity (28%). Furthermore, 78% reported an increase in digital adoption challenges as a result of remote and hybrid working arrangements becoming more common.
Businesses tended to try to resolve software issues by improving communications about the benefits of new software to employees (36%), expanding IT support desk capacity (34%) and arranging more classroom-based training sessions (33%).
It was clear from the research that digital adoption had to improve if large software implementations were to be successful, said Hartmut Hahn, CEO, Userlane. He added: “It is, of course, important for businesses to address the shortcomings of their software training. But we must also remember that a one-size-fits-all approach is not going to work here – we all learn in different ways, and this must be reflected in the training and support companies offer.
“Even though it may seem like a large undertaking, improving digital adoption is clearly not just an IT issue, but an employee experience challenge too,” Hahn added. “And for this reason, it’s even more essential that it becomes a priority for businesses. Digital transformation can only truly succeed with strong digital adoption. And strong digital adoption ultimately improves the employee experience.”