Poor workplace technology is still a leading frustration for workers, and it's prompting some to quit

Office worker holding hands to face in frustration over workplace technology failure.
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Inadequate workplace technology is causing staff across Europe to become frustrated and disillusioned with their roles, according to new research. 

Four-in-ten staff told Ricoh Europe their employer is failing to adopt technology that would benefit them in the workplace, with only two-thirds believing their employers provide the tech they need to do their jobs well.

While a host of surveys in recent years show that workers prefer remote work on the whole, one-third of respondents said that the tech they had at home was making them less productive.

As a result, nearly three-quarters of employees reckon they would deliver more value to their company if they had the right tools and technologies in place.

"Looking ahead, it is imperative that businesses align their technology offerings with employee needs, particularly around process automation and workplace experience, which can help employees be more productive and focus on tasks where they can add more value," said Nicola Downing, CEO of Ricoh Europe.

The Opinium survey of 6,000 workers in the UK and Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands also revealed that if employers don't address these concerns, they risk losing workers.

More than one-quarter of workers cited working conditions and their employee experience as a reason they would look for another job, while just under a quarter said that the quality of software and devices was a major factor when it came to seeking alternative employment.

"As our research has revealed, any business which overlooks employee experience around workplace technology, risks losing valued team members who will simply look elsewhere for a workplace that meets their needs," Downing said.

Workplace technology failures impact staff satisfaction

The research echoes a recent US survey for Compucom, which found that technology was the biggest factor in employees' workplace experience and overall satisfaction.

Nearly a quarter of remote and hybrid workers complained that they were "always having bad experiences with their workplace technology", and almost half said they'd switched jobs or were actively looking.

The main cause of frustration was lack of choice, according to Heather Lockhart, Compucom's CMO.


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"Three years ago at the height of the pandemic, there was little choice in workplace or technology used," she said. "But despite companies having time to work out the kinks, there seems to be limited choice as workers continue to experience technology frustrations that impact their engagement and productivity."

Office tech is a particularly big deal for those working from home, with research from Eurofound revealing that three-quarters of remote workers who were happy with their equipment were satisfied with remote work, compared with fewer than a third who were unhappy with their setup.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) points out in its home working guidance that remote users may need to use different software, or use familiar applications in a different way, and that written guides would be helpful.

"Think about whether you need new services, or to just extend existing ones, so that teams can continue to collaborate,” the guidance noted.

“For example, you may want to consider services that provide chat rooms, video teleconferencing and document sharing. Working from home can be daunting for people who haven't done it before".

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance journalist writing for publications including the BBC, Private Eye, Forbes, Raconteur and specialist technology titles.