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Digitalisation has transformed every area of our personal lives, meaning employees are more IT literate than ever. Businesses are striving to provide digital workplaces that integrate with modern technology practices, but are struggling to close the gap between the IT experience they want to deliver and the current reality.

Our survey of 2,000 UK knowledge workers shows that many employees continue to face IT problems that prevent them from doing their job effectively. Workers on average are losing 1.2 hours per month due to IT problems which in turn is creating a £4 billion productivity black hole for businesses.

This is part of a wider trend in the UK as recent statistics from the Office for National Statistics showed workers' productivity fell in the final three months of last year, the second year-on-year quarterly fall in a row.

When it comes to bridging the productivity gap caused by a poor IT experience, understanding the issues staff are facing is key. Failing to ask the workforce for feedback means an employer may not even know there’s a problem in the first place and, worryingly, our research showed only a third (33%) of workers have been asked to report on their IT experience.

Of those that are asked, just 41% said this happens at least once a quarter. This lack of employer awareness is exacerbated by the fact that only two-thirds (65%) of workers said they actually reached out to their IT support or service desk to solve the IT issues they were facing. Poor visibility into the IT issues workers face means that problems go unaddressed.

Ultimately, organisations cannot expect their workforce to be productive without providing them with the IT experience they need to do their job effectively. More than three quarters (76%) of workers state technology is a factor in people’s career decisions and yet more than a third (37%) of those surveyed currently do not report a good IT experience.

It is clear there is more work to be done, especially at a time when employees are so much more IT literate. Businesses should be looking to harness these skills as part of improving the overall digital experience, introducing and promoting the use of self-service tools to resolve issues as quickly as possible.

Today, technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Process Automation are enabling a higher level of self-service than ever before. Organisations appear to recognise how this can benefit their IT experience, with almost half (48%) of workers saying their employer has implemented self-service tools. However, the adoption rate on these tools still leaves something to be desired, as the research reveals that only 38% of workers have actually used self-service.

Productivity loss, staff retention and poor IT experiences are key concerns for businesses and steps must be taken to address the IT issues behind them. To bring workplace IT services in line with the expectations of an increasingly digitally aware workforce, organisations must look carefully at how they manage and measure their delivery to users. 

As IT continues to play an increasing role in people’s career choices, it will be the organisations that can provide a truly digital workspace experience that reap the rewards.

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