Millions of employees think their company is “stuck in the past” when it comes to technology and working practices.
A study of 1,500 UK office workers found 31 percent believe slow internet speeds are a sign of an old-fashioned office – and a quarter cite out-of-date fax machines as the ultimate sign of being behind the times.
Meanwhile more than one in five think companies using Microsoft tools like Word or Excel – from 2003 – are stuck in the past.
But it’s not just technology that is leaving some companies trailing – as, despite huge strides being taken in mental health awareness at work, 49 percent feel their own company is behind the times when it comes to wellbeing.
A tenth feel their employers still frown upon staff taking personal phone calls, and a little under one in five still have no flexible hours.
Scott Eells/Bloomberg/Getty Images)
A spokesman for communication solutions specialists Enreach, which commissioned the report, said: “Our research shows how many businesses are in need of a technical upgrade – and seem to be stuck in the 1980s.
“It can be really frustrating to work with old fashioned technology. There’s nothing worse than slow or outdated technology stopping you from doing your job properly.
“But on the other hand, there’s a danger of being too high-tech, and confusing staff with systems that end up being problematic.
“The study also found businesses have lots of work to do when it comes to modernising their attitudes to mental health and general wellbeing.”
The study also found eight in ten respondents think having out of date tech – and business practices – can seriously hinder company growth.
And more than half (56 percent) feel their job is made much harder than it needs to be, simply by using borderline obsolete technology.
As a result, nearly half an hour of every working day is “wasted” trying to get their old office equipment to work.
When it comes to flexible working practices, 31 percent of adults would most enjoy a shorter working week.
Another 23 percent believe staff should be able to take a “wellbeing day” when they need to recharge their batteries.
And a fifth would like to be able to “buy” more annual leave from their employer, to take a much-needed break.
Employees believe the people at the very top of a company – CEO or director level – should be the ones driving change to tech and working practices.
But two-thirds of those polled, via OnePoll, have never brought anything up to their management about their working environments being stuck in the past.
Enreach’s spokesman added: “There’s been a growing demand from staff members to see an improvement in “quality of life” for employees.
“As much as it can be a hindrance to use an ancient printer, it’s equally challenging when wellbeing policies are archaic and don’t reflect modern attitudes.
“Happier staff tend to lead to a better quality of product, so it’s in employers’ interests to make sure they’re up to date with all areas of their business.”
Take this quiz to find out how modern your company is.
TOP 40 OUTDATED WORKING PRACTISES:
- Slow internet
- 9 to 5 start and finish time
- Not having flexible hours
- Fax machines
- Not allowing working from home
- Paper payslips
- 25 days of holiday or less per year
- Fixed lunch hour
- Dress codes such as wearing suits and ties
- Filing cabinets
- Microsoft 2003
- Landline telephones
- Boxy computer monitors
- Pressure around taking time off for appointments
- Micromanaging and desk computers instead of laptops
- Sending letters
- One temperature setting for the whole office
- Single-use products such as plastic cups
- Poor maternity schemes, such as low pay or little time off
- Working over the Christmas break
- Set days to be in the office
- Submitting expenses by hand
- Poor paternity schemes, such as low pay or little time off
- In/Out paper trays
- Overhead projectors
- Annual employee reviews
- Attitudes towards recycling
- Booking meeting rooms on a physical calendar
- Plug-in ethernet cable instead of WiFi
- Paper – such as using it to make notes in a meeting
- Not being allowed your personal mobile at your desk
- Attitudes towards women being in pain during menstrual cycle
- Not being able to take personal phone calls
- Sharing files using a memory stick/external drive
- Hiring only full-time employees
- Requesting holidays via email/in person
- No personal activity during work hours
- Whiteboards in meeting rooms