September 23, 2011
Unreliable technology is the number one annoyance for office workers, with irritating colleagues ranking a close second, research by Samsung has found.
The poll of 1,500 office staff found that slow computers were the biggest gripe, followed by printer jams and unnecessary emails – with noisy colleagues, novelty ringtones and those that shirk their coffee-making duties also scoring highly.
The findings present somewhat of a paradox as the survey also found that technology is becoming increasingly essential in the workplace. Eight out of ten said that WiFi and the internet will still be crucial to their work in 20 years’ time, and seven out of ten expect to be relying on computers and email in 2030.
Dion Smith, general manager at Print Samsung UK, said: “It’s really interesting to see this ‘can’t live with it, can’t live without it’ approach to technological developments from office workers in the UK. It appears that all the benefits technology can bring to an office environment are being counteracted by its misuse and this needs to be addressed as content employees are at the heart of every business.”
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) warned that line managers should be vigilant and not let workplace niggles escalate. “Disharmony in the workplace, especially in smaller teams, can lead to low morale, cause increased absence and will impact on productivity,” said a CIPD spokesman.
“It’s essential that line managers have the skills, knowledge and confidence to identify and manage workplace disagreements at an early stage,” he added. “It’s vital to have regular informal one-to-one conversations and catch-ups with the people they manage so that these kinds of issues can be aired naturally where possible.”