More than half of UK employees say they are frustrated by outdated office systems and manual ways of working, a new study has revealed

The research, commissioned by Webexpenses, explores workplace attitudes towards technology and the challenges faced by office-based employees during a typical working day.

Involving a survey of more than 2,000 UK based workers, it found that 51 per cent of respondents feel frustrated by their employer’s lack of investment in time-saving technologies.

More than a third (40 percent) said they are still having to use paper-based processes and manual administration methods despite the availability of faster and simpler software alternatives.

An example was the traditional approach to employee expenses. The study found that it takes an average of 26 minutes to create a claim using a manual method – written forms, paper receipts and Excel spreadsheets.

And for 40 per cent, this task is taking up to an hour out of their working day. It’s an administrative chore that can be completed in a matter of minutes with a cloud-based system and an automated process.

Outdated and inefficient

This was just one of the workplace time-waster revealed to be causing frustrations. Others included time spent arranging business travel and the hassle of having to manually handle invoices.

Adam Reynolds, CEO of Webexpenses, said: “What’s remarkable about these survey results is the level of frustration and annoyance that’s clearly being experienced by employees.

“People are used to the simplicity and efficiency of digital solutions in their personal lives and that clashes with workplaces where they’re having to shuffle and process mounds of paper.

“Businesses have rapidly become one of the few remaining places where these kinds of outdated and ineffective forms of management are still tolerated.”

Outdated processes, unnecessary meetings and pointless paperwork were found to eat up more than a quarter (26 percent) of employees’ working time. Two-thirds (66 percent) said manual and outdated admin tasks often prevented them from completing their core work.

Almost half (44 percent) said their company’s technology was ‘woefully outdated’ and 40 percent said they would be more productive if they were given the right technology..

Automating business management

Digital systems have virtually eliminated the need for a business to rely on any paper-based or manual processes. Cloud-based management and real-time handling of data have transformed the way information is controlled.

Adam Reynolds added: “It’s unbelievable that so many businesses continue to make their employees endure these outdated and broken processes.

“It’s not just frustrating for employees, this kind of inefficiency damages productivity, impacts client relations and creates the kind of archaic working environment in which nobody wants to work.

“With digital tools and a willingness to move away from our traditional approaches, we have the power to create happier workers and much more flexible, forward-looking and productive businesses.”