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Temperamental technology costing small businesses time and money

Small business could save up to five million working hours every week if they could rid their workplaces of everyday IT problems, says a new YouGov survey.

Just over a fifth of the 600 small businesses (SMEs) quizzed for the survey for Brother UK, said dealing with faulty printers was one of the biggest wastes of their employees’ time. Another 20% claim computer crashes were also causing unnecessary downtime in the workplace.

Three-quarters of bosses estimate one to two hours per week were spent dealing with these two issues alone.

Phil Jones, Managing Director of Brother UK, said: “Productivity is a big issue for ambitious SMEs, and it’s great that so many business leaders see investing in employee training and rewards as key to smarter ways of working.

“However, such investment can be worthless if staff can’t rely on the office infrastructure and equipment.”

Previous research conducted by Samsung Electronics revealed that while small business owners are spending nearly three and a half hours on sales and close to three hours on marketing a week to drive new business, IT accounts for two hours and 47 minutes, and office management almost three hours.

The findings were a part of Samsung’s ‘More Good Days at Work’ initiative, which shows small businesses how innovative technology can help their staff to have more productive workdays. It highlighted that, as well as their own issues with faults in technology, nine-in-ten employees lose concentration by coming to help others with IT issues.

Commenting on the study, Graham Allcott, author of ‘How to be a Productivity Ninja’ and founder of Think Productive said: “We have some fantastic businesses and innovators in the UK SME sector, but there are still big productivity issues.

“A lot of workers are distracted from the things that create impact and growth by tasks like IT issues, and we are falling behind the rest of the world as a result.

“While lots of these distractions might only be for 15 minutes here and there, this quickly adds up and affects overall productivity."

Graham Long, Vice President of Enterprise at Samsung UK & Ireland, said: “SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK economy, and it’s important that they work in the most efficient and productive way possible.

“While technology is certainly a productivity enabler, it’s clear that SME owners and employees are struggling to unleash its full potential.

“Businesses need technology that is easy, secure and that their workers feel comfortable and familiar using.”

Interestingly, only 21% surveyed by Brother UK cited quicker IT support as one of the top three changes that would improve productivity. Statistics showed that business leaders were more concerned with increasing employee training and recognising and rewarding performance as the focus of improving how they work.

At TaxAssist Accountants we pride ourselves on helping small businesses adopt technology to make them more productive and be ready for Making Tax Digital. Call your local TaxAssist Accountant today on 0800 0523 555 to book a free initial appointment.

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