Nitro survey finds death-by-meeting and outdated tech crippling Aussie businesses

Document productivity startup, Nitro, has found Aussie employees are wasting valuable hours battling outdated tech, mired in unnecessary meetings and trapped in poor workflow.

 Nitro, surveyed more than 1,000 Australian office workers to better understand the productivity challenges faced by employees and discovered five primary pain points. 59 per cent of employees reported outdated processes, policies and workflows as constricting their efforts. 

Poor management or leadership (56 per cent), negative workplace culture (54 per cent) and outdated tools or technology (48 per cent) were also big issues. While 38 per cent of employees said they felt as though they had insufficient training to do their jobs well.

“There’s nothing more deflating than getting into the office early to smash out some work before a hectic day of meetings, only to realize you can’t work on a file you need to update because you don’t have the right software,” Nitro Vice President of APAC Michael Helder said.

Office workers cited lack of access to software or technological tools to complete a task (28 per cent) and being unable to read a poorly scanned or photocopied document (21 per cent) as common productivity pain points.

Faced with a calendar full of meetings they wish they could reduce (43 per cent), more than a quarter of workers now say the most productive part of their day is before (21 per cent) or after (4 per cent) office hours.

A whopping 70 per centof all workers said lack of proper training across the board was responsible for much of the loss in productivity. 

Previous Nitro research shows the average knowledge worker loses four hours a week on paper-based admin challenges alone.

“For an employee on a $80k annual salary, employers are pouring more than $8,000 a year down the productivity drain,” Helder said.

The report found Gen X and Boomer employees were twice as likely to feel neglected by their employers when it comes to training or investment in the latest technologies, compared to 18-25yos.

Despite ABS data showing older workers make up almost half (44.4 per cent) the public sector and more than a third (38.4 per cent) of the private sector, organisations are increasingly catering to younger digital natives, leaving older workers untrained and ill-equipped to cope with rapidly changing technologies.

Public sector workers in particular feel their time is being wasted at work, with 62 per cent claiming outdated tools or technology were holding them back. Across the board, almost a third (27 per cent) of public sector workers said their organisation was ‘not so supportive’ when it came to boosting productivity. It was the highest among 11 sectors studied including marketing (16 per cent), healthcare (13 per cent) and hospitality (9 per cent), with the overall average recorded at 19 per cent.

Key research findings:

  • Women were 70 per cent more likely to view insufficient training as a reason for being less productive at work (women, 43 per cent and men, 30 per cent)
  • Australians working in the public sector were the most likely to have their computer crash at work (55 per cent)
  • Senior management (67 per cent) were more likely to find outdated processes, policies and technology more cumbersome than those in mid-level positions, a group that placed the highest emphasis on poor management or leadership (60 per cent).
  • C-suite employees ranked standardising digital tools and technology such as eSignatures the most important at 63 per cent
  • Three key areas to boost productivity include reducing frequency of meetings (43 per cent), expanding training and certification (36 per cent) and standardising digital tools (30 per cent)
  • The early bird gets the worm – mornings (54 per cent) was the most productive time of day for Australian workers, followed by early mornings before office hours (21 per cent), afternoons (13 per cent), midday (8 per cent) and evenings (4 per cent) 

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Cec is the managing editor of KBB. She is a multimedia professional with over fifteen years experience as an editor on titles as diverse as SX, CULT, Better Pictures, Total Rock, MTV, fasterlouder, mynikonlife and Fantastic Living. She has spent the past four years working as a news journalist covering all the issues that matter in the political, health and LGBTIQ arena. She is the Head of Content at Pinstripe Media and a recent convert to the world of small business.

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