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A good worker shouldn’t need to blame their tools

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/niroworld)

The UK is currently facing a ‘productivity crisis’, with seven million UK employees rating themselves as unproductive’ at work, and it is technology that is cited as one of the key factors to be affecting  workplace productivity. Moreover, government economic forecasts even had to significantly lower the original productivity growth estimates for 2017 from 1.2 per cent to just 0.2 per cent and it’s unlikely this figure will change significantly in 2018 - putting serious strains on the government’s budget and not to mention the workplace.

We all know the age-old phrase ‘a good worker doesn’t blame their tools’. But for anyone who has ever worked in an office, the excuse of bad tech and IT is commonplace. Missing deadlines or submitting work late can be caused by an IT glitch or a programme not running properly. For some, these excuses may be considered just that, an excuse, but poor performing IT really can lead to poor performing office employees.

Recent research from Crucial revealed that almost two thirds of British workers get distracted from their work having to help their less tech-savvy colleagues and having to solve IT problems takes up an average of 17 minutes per day. Over a year, losing out on almost twenty minutes of work every day certainly starts to add up – 17 minutes per business day totals almost 75 hours per employee per year.   This, unsurprisingly, has a serious impact on office workers’ productivity and not to mention the cost to businesses having to divert precious time and resources to resolving these IT problems. The most common IT issues that employees are having to deal with were also revealed to include a PC or programme freezing or running slowly and a PC or programme crashing – all making employees much less efficient and productive.

There is no complete fix for solving the problem of productivity and it seems that experts do not see an end-solution in sight. Certainly, there are many different aspects of the workplace that need to be addressed to optimise employees’ efficiency, such as the working environment and work processes, but to help the greater picture of productivity, businesses need to start small and for office workers, you can easily solve the problem of employees wasting time waiting on slow or unresponsive computers. Employees may be blaming their IT, but they shouldn’t need to be.

If your employee is constantly facing IT issues, there is no doubt that there is a problem and that their computer is clearly in serious need of a performance overhaul. Many believe that the only solution for this is to just throw away the offending computer and to buy a new one. Not only is this the expensive approach, it is also completely unnecessary.

Overcoming issues

The (wrong) assumption is that these problems are down to the computer as a whole, but this is rarely the case; it is the fault of a small number of internal components that are to blame, and these can be easily and cheaply fixed. You simply need to evaluate the problems and take appropriate action to improve the computer system’s performance accordingly. As a result, you will not only help boost the computer’s efficiency but also that of your office employees.

So, first, let’s identify those annoying IT issues that your employees may be having to deal with on a regular basis, distracting them or stopping them from working on their other tasks, and more importantly, what’s causing them. The most common signs of a slowing system are if your employee’s PC is running hot, taking forever to turn on, failing to run multiple programmes or if files are failing to open or load. This all boils down to the computer not being able to deliver the speed and active data your employee needs. However, instead of needing to buy an expensive new system, simply upgrading your employees’ PCs can help to deliver that speed and level of data required by your employees, boosting their productivity too.

But what is a PC upgrade and, most importantly, how exactly do you upgrade your employees’ PCs? For those new to the world of upgrading, a PC upgrade simply involves installing an SSD (Solid State Hard Drive) and increasing the amount of memory in the computer system.

Most computers are shipped out with a hard drive and a limited amount of storage, which eventually leads to increasingly slow and poor performance. The installation of an SSD will help to overcome those issues with storage, providing near-instant start-up times for your computer. Upgrading the amount of memory on your computer will instantly increase the computer’s responsiveness. More memory also helps you to operate and run multiple windows simultaneously and an SSD ensures that these applications will load almost instantly.

Upgrading your employees’ computer components may seem daunting but the process is actually very straightforward. It certainly doesn’t require help from IT professionals or from your IT department but can be carried out quickly and easily by anyone working in the office, no matter the level of their technical knowledge. It’s a solution that can be used by all your employees. It also means no more painful waiting for files to load, ensures the smooth operation of multiple programmes for better multi-tasking, with no risk of a system crash, and even better, all without the need for an expensive new computer.

This simple solution is an easy and, more importantly, cheap way to solve a multitude of IT issues, speeding up a slow computer and increasing responsiveness. Improving computer efficiency can help improve your office employees’ efficiency and this boost in computer performance can aid productivity. Upgrading and improving a PC’s performance means that employees will no longer be able – or forced – to ‘blame their tools’ and it ensures that at least their computers won’t be hindering their productivity. So, no more excuses – bad IT can no longer be blamed for poor productivity. 

Jonathan Weech, SSD Sr.Product Line Manager, Crucial.

Image source: Shutterstock/niroworld