• Almost a third of business heads say modern tech has created more problems than it has solved.
• Tech failure and email overload top the list of modern workplace irritations.
Senior managers and above from small and medium businesses are getting increasingly stressed over technology in the workplace, with tech failure (53%) singled out as the most common irritation, according to research by ABN AMRO Commercial Finance.
Over half (53%) of business heads say they are more stressed now than five years ago, with over a quarter (27%) saying modern technology has made the work place more irritating than 5 years ago.
While the majority (61%) of senior decision makers agree that modern technology has improved productivity and efficiency at work, almost a third (32%) still believe that it has created more problems than it has solved.
When asked to think specifically about technology in the workplace, number one in the list of irritations is technology failure (53%), including incompatibility issues and outdated hardware. Managers are also fed up with email overload and perpetually full inboxes (45%), at number two on the list.
Business heads are also annoyed by growing smartphone addiction and the resulting lack of interaction between staff.
SME Top Technology Annoyances
1 Technology failures
2 Email overload
3 Information overload
4 Smartphone addiction
5 Lack of human interaction 37%
6 Constant connectivity 34%
7 Social media 33%
8 Technology over-reliance 30%
9 Keeping up with new technology
10 None of these 12%
11 Don’t know 0%
Technology irritations across the ages
The research identified a number of interesting generational differences, including:
• Over half (55%) of younger managers aged 25-44 are more stressed in their current role than they were 5 years ago.
• Amongst this group, almost a third (30%) find the workplace more annoying than they did 5 years ago due to advances in the technology used.
• Surprisingly 32% of these younger heads also believe technology has created more problems than it has solved.
• Older generations are more concerned with the lack of face-to-face interaction caused by technology in the workplace, with 44% of over 55s finding this to be an issue. Only 29% of managers aged 25 to 44 found a lack of interaction to be a problem.
Gary Hurry, Director at ABN AMRO Commercial Finance comments:
“The workplace has changed hugely, even in the last five years. Smartphones, tablets, social media and other technology have increased our productivity but also raised stress levels and created a host of potential irritations.
“In today’s climate, small annoyances like this can be brought into sharp relief and even get in the way of the day-to-day running of companies. It’s important that business heads don’t let these modern irritations stop them tackling the things that really matter to business success.”
The research is based on a YouGov survey of more than 500 senior managers and above from SMEs across Britain.
For further information or an interview with Gary Hurry, please contact:
Xenia Kingsley or Lauren Greatorex at Man Bites Dog
0844 561 1416
About the study
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 535 SME senior managers and above. Fieldwork was undertaken between 13 - 16 February 2012. The survey was carried out online.
About ABN AMRO Commercial Finance PLC (formerly Venture Finance PLC.)
ABN AMRO Commercial Finance is an award-winning Invoice and Asset Based Lender and part of the ABN AMRO Commercial Finance Group. Established in 1989, the company provides Factoring, Invoice Discounting, Export Finance, Structured Finance, Asset Based Lending and numerous related services to start-ups through to £250m turnover organisations. Providing consistent support via its 200+ staff and 11 regional offices, ABN AMRO Commercial Finance helps clients manage working capital, refinance, restructure, fund business opportunities and expansion, purchase new equipment and finance M&As.