Technology failures lead to UK workers losing an average of nine working days each year, according to new research.
Survey results published by Ebuyer.com show that employees, contractors and freelancers alike are affected by poor-performing technology, with the average amount of time lost each day coming in at 15 minutes and 17 seconds. For one in ten workers, it can be as much as half an hour every day.
Common issues with technology preventing workers from being productive included poor internet connectivity, which was cited as a problem by 44 per cent of respondents.
This was closely followed by computers crashing (41 per cent) and printers breaking (40 per cent). Other common problems included sending emails to the wrong person (15 per cent) and subsequently having to deal with extra admin, while six per cent of workers said they had accidentally opened a spam email, meaning they then needed to spend time updating their computer's security.
Workers in the legal sector were found to be plagued most often by tech issues, losing an average of 17 minutes and ten seconds each day due to problems with technology. IT workers came second (17 minutes and two seconds), followed by engineering and manufacturing (16 minutes and 44 seconds) and recruitment and HR (16 minutes and 26 seconds).
Meanwhile, workers in marketing, advertising, PR, accountancy, property, healthcare, education and public services all lost more than 15 minutes a day due to inadequate technology.
For limited company contractors, losing the equivalent of nine working days each year can have a huge impact on their business and could cause damage to their reputation if they are slow to respond to emails or never seem to be available online.
Therefore, it's important that contractors are investing in a good laptop or computer as well as reliable add-ons like a printer and scanner so they are in the best position to meet demands from their clients.
Although broadband connections can be unreliable in some parts of the country, it's also vital that contractors weigh up their options to find the best and most reliable internet connection for them.
Dave Jones, Product Buyer at Ebuyer.com, offered some advice to limited company contractors to make sure their productivity is not hindered by tech fails.
"The research we conducted has revealed some really shocking figures. Over nine working days lost to technology is sure to have a huge impact on businesses, especially small businesses and start-ups," he said.
"Making sure that technology is regularly updated will stop issues with computers regularly crashing, and having systems backed up on servers should keep time lost to a minimum.
"Keeping equipment around the office updated and replacing old and slow technology may cost in the short term, but the time saved will soon balance this out."
He added that contractors should also ensure they have a good supply of spare equipment like printer paper, particularly as 13 per cent of survey respondents admitted to losing productivity time due to running out of this.