71% of UK workers say work-from-home platforms cause distractions and mistakes

Far from solving the UK productivity and Great Resignation crisis – new research reveals that the overuse of collaboration tools like Teams and Zoom during the pandemic has led UK workers to make more mistakes, with younger age workers reporting these tools make them feel disengaged from their company and colleagues.

The survey of over 1,000 British workers, conducted by Kantar Research and commissioned by Sapphire Systems, reveals workers want employers to invest in helping them work faster, smarter, and simpler. The result could improve productivity, morale, creativity, and company loyalty.

The survey of 1323 adults questioned workers using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Cisco Webex during the COVID pandemic.

Only 32% of UK workers found collaboration tools enabled them to complete their day jobs more effectively, with 81% stating that the constant interference such as chat distracted them from work they needed to get done.

The survey also reported that 71% of workers feel distractions caused them to make mistakes in day-to-day tasks – some of them so bad they couldn’t bear to recall them.

While 78% stated that they spent too much time in meetings and that while these tools enabled them to multitask this added stress to their jobs.

Additionally, 56% of workers said they found the tools excluded them from contributing their individual points during meetings, with 69% of 16–24-year-olds finding it most difficult to find their voice compared with only 48% of 49–54-year-olds.

Female workers found the use of online meeting tools excluded them from participation.

When questioned about what their employers could do to help them improve their productivity and engagement experience, 42% of respondents said they wanted employers to make routine tasks easier and faster to deliver, improving their personal productivity and reducing stress.

The report also shows that 39% of workers wanted their employers to improve work systems, while 20% of workers would like their company to provide a ‘digital robot assistant’ to complete their repetitive tasks for them automatically.

Chris Gabriel, Chief Strategy Officer at Sapphire, said: “With British companies already facing a perfect storm of the Great Resignation, a skills shortage, and an inflation crisis, this survey shows that workers want their company to help them reduce the confusion, exclusion, and mistakes all of which is diluting productivity and causing frustration.

“They want to work faster and smarter, with one-in-five already asking to be given personal digital robotic assistants to automate repetitive day-to-day tasks. It is clear, workers want more investment in the tools that take them forward faster into a new era of digital productivity.”

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