Poor tech is to blame for UK office negativity

The UK is in the grips of a legacy technology crisis. The fact that so many organisations are still running on technology that should have been left behind over a decade ago is simply no longer acceptable, and it’s giving way to a negativity epidemic in UK offices.

Don’t lag too far behind is very much the golden rule with technology in any organisation. However, if organisations start to fall away from this and don’t take care to maintain or update their tech, its hindrance on day-to-day work will have significant effects on the motivation levels of employees.

This goes beyond communication tools, to areas such as software environments, desktop or server systems, databases, to the way we’re allowed to store and retrieve information.

>See also: 3 ways smart technology is impacting the office environment

The ease with which we’re allowed to work and interact with our machines can have a profound enabling effect, triggering feelings of positivity and inspiration within work environments. Yet, it can also have the opposite effect and for many UK offices it’s already causing a negativity epidemic.

New research Sharp conducted has uncovered that over two thirds (63%) of UK office workers feel negatively about their workplace, with outdated ways of working causing low morale and low motivation across the country.

Compared with Britain’s European neighbours, people in the UK were the most likely to describe their working environment as uninspiring (34% versus European average of 28%); with some also choosing to describe it as “grim”, “oppressive” and “toxic”. A worryingly few (17%) would actually describe their environment as motivating.

When it came to why they described their office in this way, restrictive and limiting technology in the workplace was identified as a major pain point for just over half (51%) of respondents, while a third blamed outdated and frustrating ways of working (35%).

>See also: Do smart offices attract smart employees?

The average UK worker was found to get frustrated at their office tech three times a day, or 16 times over a working week – driving 32% to pretend something was broken so they could avoid using it, and 41% to use their personal devices instead.

With Brexit negotiations well underway having an unmotivated workforce isn’t going to keep UK business booming during any uncertainty. Making sure everyone feels motivated is important for creating a happy workplace, where people want to and can do their best work.

Technology only improves motivation if it’s helpful and easy to use; otherwise it becomes a de-motivator, either not being used, or worse, causing frustration.

Organisations must allow for the connectivity that is appropriate to the type of work environment they have if they want to motivate staff. If they want to be modern and relevant, and a place where people want to have long careers, the company critically needs to stay in touch with the way people engage with technology.

Within the next 10 years, millennials will make up the majority of our workforce, and more than any other generation they would be more motivated if their office had up to date technology (43%).

>See also: How to prepare your office for the app generation

So it’s important that companies learn from the younger workers, welcome new ideas and new insights, and provide smarter technology that is as easy to use as consumer devices if they want to cater for their own future.

To learn more about the research, and how to unlock a more motivated workplace with expert tips from Stefan Haefliger, Professor of Strategic Management & Innovation at Cass Business School visit: www.sharp.co.uk/unlock.


Sourced by Stuart Sykes, managing director at Sharp Business Systems UK

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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