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SMEs are wasting billions on admin every year

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(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/niroworld)

Small and medium businesses (SMB) in the UK are spending huge amounts of time and money on administrative tasks, but many don't see the need to streamline the process with software. This is according to a new report from HR software provider Breathe.

Polling 375 senior decision-makers in the UK, the company found an average company spends an hour a week on administrative tasks, or seven workdays a year. Aggregating the costs across all SMBs in the country, this adds up to $26.20 billion. Breathe says that, aside from extra costs, admin also negatively impacts company culture and team wellbeing.

The company claims the process could be streamlined with software, but less than half (45 percent) are using technology to manage their administrative tasks. Three in ten don't use software to streamline admin at all, and among this cohort, two thirds say they don't see the need.

The pandemic has only made the situation worse, Breathe further claims, with day-to-day tasks becoming more difficult for a quarter of respondents (23 percent). For a fifth, there are too many training and development-related administrative tasks to keep up with.

“One hour a week doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you think about what else employers could do with this time, it really adds up,” said Jonathan Richards, CEO of Breathe.

“Right now, it’s a challenging time for businesses and their people. Working in a decentralized environment means that day to day tasks are harder to manage and simple tasks become more time consuming. Looking after people working remotely isn’t always straight forward either, especially if employers don’t have the time to reach out for a chat or focus on creating wellbeing initiatives to support their people, which is critical at the moment due to the pandemic.”

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.