Working hard in a business where systems and processes are outdated are costing employees hundreds of hours

Communicate with your team.
Communicate with your team.

A recent report has revealed the extent of the impact of inefficient work practices on UK businesses.

Based on a survey of 1,500 employees, the report states that despite the shift towards hybrid working and online collaboration, many large firms are failing to adapt their operations to meet new ways of operating.

In the modern business landscape, where efficiency and innovation are prized above all, the presence of outdated systems and processes can be a significant hindrance to both productivity and employee morale. Working hard in an environment where these archaic practices persist is akin to treading water in a fast-moving stream; it’s exhausting, time-consuming, and ultimately counterproductive.

Outdated systems and processes in a business can manifest in various ways. Legacy software that lacks necessary updates, paper-based workflows, or a resistance to adopting new technologies are just a few examples. When employees are forced to operate within these obsolete frameworks, it often results in a tremendous loss of precious hours. Here’s a closer look at how this occurs:

  1. Inefficiency: Outdated systems often lack the automation and integration capabilities that modern software provides. This forces employees to spend excessive time on manual, repetitive tasks, such as data entry, that could be streamlined or entirely eliminated with the right tools. This inefficiency not only wastes time but also hampers overall productivity.

  2. Error-Prone Workflows: Manual processes and outdated systems are prone to errors, which necessitate even more time for rectification and quality control. Employees find themselves spending countless hours double-checking and fixing mistakes that could have been prevented with up-to-date systems.

  3. Longer Learning Curves: When new employees join a company with outdated systems, they face steeper learning curves. Training and getting acclimated to these archaic practices consumes additional hours, as employees must adapt to workarounds and idiosyncrasies that have long outlived their usefulness.

  4. Frustration and Demotivation: Continually working in an environment with outdated systems can lead to frustration and demotivation among employees. When they see how much time is being wasted on inefficient processes, their job satisfaction and overall morale tend to plummet.

  5. Stifled Innovation: Outdated systems can deter innovation as employees are often too preoccupied with simply making the existing processes work. This stifles creativity and the development of new, more efficient ways of doing things.

  6. Missed Opportunities: In today’s rapidly evolving business world, being nimble and adaptable is crucial. Outdated processes can cause a company to miss out on opportunities for growth and competitiveness that could save both time and money in the long run.

The toll taken on employees in such an environment is clear – they are forced to put in extra hours, often working late into the night or on weekends, just to keep up with the demands of their roles. These long hours come at the expense of work-life balance, personal well-being, and job satisfaction, which can lead to burnout and high turnover rates.

Tax on productivity

Examining employee attitudes and beliefs at large UK organizations, 28 days each year on “low-value paperwork”. This includes time-consuming activities like printing, scanning, stapling, and manually signing documents rather than using esign software.

Emails are the biggest issue as using a number of templates to create answers or a FAQ page can give people what they need but as risk of losing a potential sale due to lack of engagement.

Four day week. Who knew despite all the tech we have, we are still working all day every day.

However, some UK firms are attempting to rein in printer use, as part of push towards greener business processes. Of the employees surveyed, 34% said printer access has been restricted, 31% report restrictions on accessing stationery, while 25% say their company’s stationery cupboard has been entirely removed. 10% even told of businesses rationing paper use.

Worryingly, 27% felt sustainability wasn’t a top priority for their employer, while 31% were unclear whether their company even had a sustainability strategy in the first place.

But it’s not all bad news. The vast majority (83%) of employees said hybrid working has helped improve sustainability practices. More than half (57%) also agreed that increased sustainability goals are helping attract new talent and 33% believe these goals improve the workplace culture overall.

“The move to hybrid working for many people has welcomed a greater focus and move to sustainable ways of working, which is a positive shift for everyone and the environment,”

To address these issues, businesses must recognize the importance of modernizing their systems and processes. Investing in updated technologies and automation not only reduces the time drain but can also lead to improved employee retention, greater job satisfaction, and a more competitive edge in the marketplace.

Author Profile

Joanna Fletcher
Live Events Reviewer


Leave a Reply