We know that managers and business owners face various IT issues, and that IT support can be major concern, but what about the impact of IT issues on their employees?
Employees are the main users of workplace IT systems, so they experience any problems first-hand, and therefore they may also come up against the limitations of their current IT support.
With the rise in remote working, employees also risk becoming technologically isolated, if the systems they are using at home let them down.
Employees should be asking the question: is my employer’s current IT support helping me do the job I’m being paid to do?
Vulnerability to Cybercrime
According to research from PwC, 19% of people working from home during the pandemic do not feel they have the right training or skills to keep themselves safe from cybercrime.
Remote workers need good IT tools and support, and may in fact be more dependent on these things than if they were back in the workplace.
It is vital, therefore, that any enterprise’s IT support can adapt to remote working, and provide workers with the tools they need to protect themselves, and protect their employer’s assets.
Workers can be the target of phishing attacks, scams and viruses, and if they are using their own devices, then these may be more vulnerable than office-based systems.
Not Having the Right Tools
Employees who don’t have the right tools for the job can become frustrated and then disengaged. This can have an negative impact on overall workplace culture and, ultimately, productivity. Of course, for many workers, these tools are digital.
If people are having to work with outdated or incompatible software, then this can have an impact on their productivity, and on their morale.
Remote working conditions can further magnify this sense of disengagement.
Working from home shouldn’t mean that employees have to settle for technology and IT support that is second-best.
It’s vital that employers ensure that people are properly equipped to carry out the tasks they are given, whether working remotely or in a shared workplace.
Unreliable Digital Communication Channels
Strong, reliable communication is critical to ensure engagement of employees, especially if they are working remotely.
Without this, workers become isolated and lose motivation.
There can be issues with synchronising different devices for emails and diaries, or with getting people properly and reliably connected for teleconferencing.
It is relatively easy for staff working from home to feel isolated and out of the loop.
Isolation can have a negative effect on mental health. While staff wellbeing isn’t normally a direct concern of IT support, helping to keep staff properly connected using technology is.
Maintaining teamwork is as much a technical as it is a cultural challenge, and issues like device compatibility and synchronisation can make things more challenging.
Slow Computers and Downtime
The sluggish speed of workplace technology can be a persistent employee pain point. This slowness, and interruptions from downtime, can disrupt people’s flow at work, and sap their concentration and motivation.
IT downtime costs businesses over £3.5 million a year, with an annual loss of 545 hours of staff productivity, or around £7,235 per employee.
But there’s more than just an economic cost to this.
These interruptions cause stress and can upset employee morale.
For employees, there’s the added pressure of having less time to complete tasks, or having to work for longer hours due to technical disruptions.
Downtime and slow computers have the potential to contribute to employee demoralisation and burn-out.
Backing Up and Data Retrieval
As more businesses are having to deal with decentralised working, the challenge is how to centralise data and keep it constantly up to date.
For employees, remote working increases the risk of not having up to date backups of work.
And should they need to retrieve data from a backup, this can be more of a challenge if they’re working from home.
What IT support should be providing is a robust remote access system, which allows for easier data recovery, and makes the whole process of backing up straightforward.
When Technology Fails to Meet Employees’ Needs
IT can cause problems that eat away at the motivation and confidence of employees. If they are preoccupied with slow computers, downtime, or having to face regular phishing and other forms of cyberattack, then they’re less engaged and productive.
These issues also reflect badly on employers, and can lead to them losing staff, and finding difficult to recruit fresh talent.
Having reliable and expert IT support benefits employees because they are the ones reliant on technology each working day.
For more information, please call us on 01282 506 616 to speak to one of our friendly experts, or send us a message using our contact form.