Storm Technology survey reveals inability to switch off is the biggest obstacle to productivity in Irish workplaces

Storm Technology, the business technology consultancy, have announced the findings of a new survey which reveals that the biggest obstacle to productivity in Irish workplaces is people’s inability to disconnect/switch off. In fact, more than half (51%) of IT decision-makers identified it as one of the main barriers.

The other biggest obstacles cited by respondents were virtual meeting overload (49%), relying on manual processes (42%), the inability to collaborate with colleagues (35%), and a lack of effective IT solutions (33%).

The survey, conducted by Tech Central on behalf of Storm Technology and involving more than 100 IT decision-makers from the larger enterprises and businesses across Ireland – found that some 30% also view worrying about security protocols as an obstacle to productivity. Meanwhile, 22% identified a greater number of distractions when working remotely as a barrier and the same proportion said working irregular hours.

Perhaps unsurprisingly then, Irish enterprises are set to spend an average of €1,588,720 on modernising the workplace in 2023. This marks a significant rise from the estimated average spend on modernising the workplace in 2022 which was found to be €848,765.

In terms of 2023 IT budgets, priority areas will be collaboration and productivity tools, with over two thirds (69%) of IT leaders set to focus on these. Security and compliance (64%), and cloud infrastructure (53%) rounded off the three key areas for investment this coming year.

Supporting hybrid working is the leading driver of workplace modernisation for 78% of organisations, with more than half (52%) of respondents viewing Microsoft as the most comprehensive solution suite to support the needs of hybrid/remote working. The other top drivers of workplace modernisation are enabling people to be more productive (71%) and delivering a better employee experience (55%).

Aiding communication and collaboration is a driver for 53%, as is enhancing service delivery for 51%. Meanwhile, some 27% of IT leaders said that creating a 100% remote working environment is a top reason for workplace modernisation, while almost a fifth (18%) said instilling better company culture was a key driver.

It seems that data governance is another area that requires improvement with the study showing that 61% of respondents find it challenging to uphold standards of data governance in their organisation. Furthermore, a quarter (25%) don’t think their company manages data effectively and more than one in ten (12%) businesses don’t have a strategy in place for data loss incidents.

Speaking about the findings, Mick McKay, Chief Operating Officer, Storm Technology, said:Irish enterprises are still getting to grips with the workplace as we know it today and many issues remain, not only in terms of supporting productivity and collaboration but also company culture, customer service and data governance.

“As well as implementing technologies and automating processes which allow people to be productive and collaborative, business leaders must establish an environment which aids work/life balance. That means allowing them to focus on core tasks, rather than filling up diaries with virtual meetings. It also means being mindful of their time, both in and out of the workplace. For example, emails might suffice for some virtual meetings and communication with staff out of hours could be easily avoided.

“Technology should be deployed to support and enable work/life balance. Allowing people to switch off also benefits business. By modernising the workplace with effective technologies and strategies which uphold employee experience, strengthen company values and reinforce governance, you can deliver more value for your customers, drive business growth and maximise your return on investment.”

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