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Nine in 10 employees frustrated by workplace technology

By Shannon Williams
Tue 14 Jun 2022

Businesses around the world face a potential workplace crisis due to inadequate technology, damaging employee productivity, mental health and the ability to retain talent, according to new research from Freshworls. 

Despite the global shift to hybrid work igniting the biggest surge in technology investment in history, an overwhelming 91% of employees report being frustrated due to inadequate workplace technology. 

Tech Not Keeping Pace With Employee Expectations 

During the pandemic, businesses spent the equivalent of $15 billion USD extra a week on technology to enable remote working, according to KPMG. Despite the consequent rapid changes to the way people work, Freshworks found that employees reported widespread failures from the workplace technology they use every day. 

Top complaints included slow speeds (51%), extended response times from IT teams (34%), lack of collaboration between departments (30%), missing important features/capabilities (28%) and lack of automation (25%).

When trying to get employees to embrace new technology and tools, leaders say their biggest challenge is hard to use applications with a high learning curve (68%). More than two thirds (69%) of leaders feel that employees are not given sufficient time to learn to use new software and that the benefits are often not adequately explained to employees (67%). 

Good Tech Gives Strategic Advantage in the War for Talent

As a fierce war for talent rages, and half (44%) of employees globally are still considering changing jobs, easy to use technology is an essential contributor to employee satisfaction. In fact, while pay and benefits top the reasons to move jobs, lack of flexible working opportunities and innovative tech are in the top five. This is recognised by business leaders globally, 71% of whom acknowledge that employees will consider looking for a new employer if their current job does not provide access to the tools, technology or information they need to do their jobs well. 

Broader Business Impact of Inadequate Tech

The employee experience isn’t the only thing impacted by insufficient workplace technology, it’s also harming the wider business. Freshworks’ survey reveals that dated tech is restricting business productivity, as frustrated employees grapple with daily IT challenges. More than half (57%) of unsatisfied employees say their current software makes them less productive. Nearly half (44%) of employees surveyed say the time spent dealing with technology issues has increased since the beginning of the pandemic. 

More worryingly, employee stress levels are soaring due to inadequate workplace technology; nearly half (49%) of employees surveyed report that inadequate workplace technology causes them to feel stressed and 48% claim it has negatively impacted their mental health. Business leaders agree, with 38% reporting that their failure to deliver adequate workplace technology to their stakeholders causes them to feel stressed. And in an extreme indicator, almost half of business leaders (48%) say stress from hybrid working makes them want to leave the tech industry.

“Software used in the workplace is simply not keeping pace with rising employee expectations,” says Stacey Epstein, chief marketing officer at Freshworks. 

“Our report reveals that sticking with bloated, legacy platforms is materially hurting productivity and the employee experience," she says. 

"This technological inertia couldn’t come at a worse time, as organisations all over the world are battling to keep a handle on both talent shortages and economic uncertainty, creating threats on two fronts.” 

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