Thursday, 27 October 2016

Irish businesses losing €2 billion annually due to outdated workstyles

Ricoh today announces the findings of its 2016 workstyle innovation survey[1], which reveals the average Irish employee wastes seven days annually searching for business documents. As a result, Irish businesses are needlessly losing €2 billion[2] a year by continuing to embrace workstyle practices that are out-of-sync with the ethos of today’s employees.

The global workplace is changing and as the younger generations filter into the workforce, they are demanding more flexibility, with access to technologies that will help them maximise productivity from wherever they work. This is reflected in the survey, with some 76% of businesses in Ireland reporting that they are under pressure from employees to enable mobile working. However, just one-third of employees have the authorisation and tools to work remotely.

A significant 38% of Irish businesses had employees that could not make it to the office during the recent strikes in transport operators including Luas and Dublin Bus. With many employees unable to work from home, such reluctance to mobilise the workforce is inhibiting business success and growth opportunities.

78% of businesses admitted that they see fundamental differences between the workstyles of various generations within their organisation. Despite this, almost half (46%) of these businesses admit that they don’t have the correct IT tools or processes to facilitate different generational workstyles.

More than half (58%) of businesses agree that mobile workstyles increase employee productivity, while 46% say it helps them to attract and retain talent. A further 56% believe that increasing investment in digital infrastructure and tools to facilitate new work styles will increase profitability.

When it comes to the leading barriers to workstyle transformation, businesses cited a lack of desire to change (47%), followed closely by technology issues such as security and legacy systems (46%), along with overly rigid culture and organisational structure (46%).

Speaking about the findings, Gary Hopwood, General Manager, Ricoh Ireland, said: “Increasingly, employees are demanding more flexible work conditions and those requests must be met if businesses want to grow and retain talent. Irish businesses don’t need to look at our survey to learn that the workforce is changing – they see it every day themselves. But our findings show that despite this awareness, there is still a reluctance to transform the workplace.

“Interruptions like transport strikes shouldn’t write off entire days. By enabling secure anytime, anywhere access to business systems and information, employees can work from any location and collaborate seamlessly with colleagues and customers. Irish enterprises need to embrace workstyles and technologies that can empower people to work in the manner they feel most comfortable – across all generations – to boost morale, productivity and growth.”

1 This survey was commissioned by Ricoh and carried out by TechPro in September 2016 among 135 senior IT professionals and decision-makers in Irish-based businesses.

2 According to Q2 2016 CSO figures, the total number of employees in Ireland is 1,646,000 with an average hourly labour cost of €21.93. With an average number of hours lost per employee according to this survey of 55 hours per year, the estimated total cost for Irish business is €1.985 billion.