NEWS: Out of date technology behind low productivity at work, claims report

While technology is helping us organise our personal lives ever more efficiently, it seems our working lives are lagging behind, as a new report argues that ancient office computers are dragging on our productivity.

Over three in five (63%) of office workers polled for the Work Foundation report believe they are no more productive today than they were three years ago, with 17% even claiming to be less industrious.

One in four (24%) UK managers surveyed believe their organisation is not technologically 'forward thinking'.

The paper – 'Productivity, technology & working anywhere' – shows a link between correctly-implemented technology and workplace productivity.

However it finds progress is marred by poor business planning, a lack of innovation, and outdated IT.

One respondent cited: "My technology at work is always slow, not up-to-date, unreliable, it's rubbish – I lose a day because my laptop is so old. Another stated: "It breaks down a lot, it's buggy and slow, it needs updating and the system crashes frequently."

The report from Lancaster University’s research hub also links a low uptake of flexible working cultures with slow productivity. Many individuals are ‘wedded’ to coming into the office, and while 61 per cent of managers surveyed actively encourage flexible working, 11 per cent view it with suspicion.

However, its authors urge that when ‘trust is strong’ to allow flexible working ‘this can inspire high levels of commitment and hence becomes associated with more enabling attitudes and behaviour with positive benefits for supporting change.’

The report also argues that strategies for flexible working should allow employees ‘space and time to experiment with new ways of doing things’.  

The research was compiled using survey responses from 1,000 employees and 500 managerial level employees in medium and large organisations across the UK. It was funded by the business mobility and cloud computing firm Citrix. 

Read the report here