Brother campaign says fixing SME IT Problems could save millions of hours

New research from Brother UK says that channel partners could help save small and medium sized businesses across the country around 5 million working hours1 every week by fixing everyday IT problems.

The survey of more than 600 business leaders* by YouGov, into office productivity, commissioned by Brother, showed that just over a fifth (21%) of senior leaders in SME businesses believe that solving printer problems are one of the top things wasting employee time, while 20% think computer crashes are zapping productivity.

Brother says that channel firms should put solving SME's productivity challenges at the heart of how they sell to the sector.

The data shows that 75% of business leaders2 estimate that each of their employees spend one to two hours per week in front of frozen computer screens. Over two thirds (71%) thought a similar number of hours were wasted each week by faulty printers.

Other drains on employee productivity identified by the survey are staff not being able to find documents either on a server or as hardcopies (28%) and workplace equipment (excluding printers) not working properly (21%).

Phil Jones MBE, Managing Director at 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.

"As the survey data shows, millions of hours of employee time are wasted through typical IT errors that many people will be all too familiar with. It's easy to overlook the common issues that have, wrongly, become part of the working day. Fixing these issues can deliver quick and long-term productivity wins that improve staff morale as well as benefitting the balance sheet. The trick is to preserve a small amount of time to look for the seemingly inconsequential things that waste time."

When asked about other ways of boosting productivity, just over one third of leaders said introducing mandatory regular screen breaks would have a positive impact (34%), 16% said a change office ergonomics would help and 1 in 10 (11%) said they would limit website access.

About the research:

*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 630 senior decision makers from small and medium businesses. Fieldwork was undertaken between 20th - 24th February 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of business size.

1 Around 5 million hours could be saved by fixing everyday IT problems, from Brother UK estimates:

Calculated based on 2,462,739 hours wasted on printer problems + 2,520,000 hours dealing with computer crashes = 4,982,739 hours

2,462,739 hours wasted on printer problems:

  • 11.2m people employed by SMEs in the UK according to the Government's Business Population Estimates
  • https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/business-population-estimates
  • 20.67% of SMEs believe that employees spend time on printer problems according to online YouGov research. 20.67% of 11.2m = 2,315,040 employees
  • Of this 20.67%, 70.92% of SME leaders believe each employee spends 1-2 hours per week on printer problems. 70.92% of 2,314,040 = 1,641,826 employees spending 1-2 hours per week on printer problems
  • 1,641,826 x 1.5 hours per week = 2,462,739 hours

2,520,000 hours wasted dealing with computers crashing:

  • 11.2m people employed by SMEs in the UK according to the Government's Business Population Estimates
  • https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/business-population-estimates
  • 20% of SMEs believe that employees spend time dealing with computers crashing according to online YouGov research. 20% of 11.2m = 2,240,000 employees
  • Of this 20%, 75% of SME leaders believe each employee spends 1-2 hours per week dealing with computers crashing. 75% of 2,240,000 = 1,680,000 employees spending 1-2 hours per week dealing with computer crashes
  • 1,680,000 x 1.5 hours per week = 2,520,000 hours

2 75% of the SME leaders that cited dealing with computer crashes as one of the top 3 things wasting employee time belief that this costs each employee 1 – 2 hours per week.

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