Freshworks has unveiled new research revealing the UK faces a skills retention crisis due to poor technology, damaging productivity, mental health, and the ability to retain talent.
94 per cent of employees in the UK report being frustrated due to inadequate workplace technology, and more than one in ten (11%) say this makes them want to leave their job. This is despite a global shift to hybrid work igniting the biggest surge in technology investment in history.
A fierce war for talent is being felt across Britain, as almost half (49%) of employees are considering changing jobs. The research reveals easy to use technology is now an essential driver of employee satisfaction, as almost one in five employees considering changing jobs blame lack of innovative tech (19%) at their company, and a further 56 per cent report that poor tech causes them to feel stressed. More worryingly, almost half of employees (47%) say technology issues at work are having a negative impact on their mental health.
The findings suggest hiring and retention strategies across the UK are missing the mark, as only salary (45%) and lack of career opportunities/advancement (32%) rank above poor workplace technology (31%) when it comes to the causes of job dissatisfaction. The next biggest culprits after poor workplace tech are poor communication with their team (30%), their managers (22%), poor benefits packages i.e. holiday entitlement (21%), and their co-workers (18%).
This stark reality of technology’s role in the war for talent is quickly becoming recognised by business leaders, 81 per cent of whom claim employees have higher expectations of technology to be easier to use since the pandemic, and over three quarters (76%) acknowledge that employees will consider looking for a new employer if their current job does not provide access to the tools, technology or information they need to do their jobs well. In fact, 70 per cent of UK workers say if their company invested in more effective technology it would enhance their job satisfaction.
With the average cost of hiring a new employee in Britain now standing at around £3,000, and quality workplace technology boosting retention of employees, the most senior members of the business, i.e. the board, must recognise the value of continuously improving technology to directly support employees in their roles and hence protect their investment in people. However, unfortunately, 52 per cent of UK line of business leaders claim their Boards are failing to listen or respond to new hybrid demands. Sadly, and in an extreme indicator, the stress caused by navigating a hybrid working world is making 47 per cent of business leaders across the country want to leave the tech industry.
The employee experience isn’t the only thing impacted by insufficient workplace technology it’s also harming the wider business. The survey reveals that dated tech is restricting business productivity, as frustrated employees grapple with daily IT challenges.
Two-thirds (65%) of unsatisfied UK employees say their current software makes them less productive. Top complaints included slow speeds (60%), extended response times from IT teams (43%), lack of collaboration between departments (29%), missing important features/capabilities (22%), and lack of automation (19%).
Simon Johnson, UK & Ireland General Manager at Freshworks said, “these findings suggest that performance of the technology provided to employees has a significant impact on their happiness at work. Despite businesses making rapid changes to the way, we work employees are still facing widespread failures from the workplace technology they use every day. This technological inertia couldn’t come at a worse time, as organisations all over Europe are battling to keep a handle on both talent shortages and economic uncertainty, creating threats on two fronts.”