IT issues are such a key stumbling block to British business productivity that if it wasn't for them, most Britons could have wrapped up work two weeks before Christmas, a new survey has shown.
According to research carried by Censuswide on behalf of US software provider Citrex, some 89% of employees in Britain are left waiting to get work done every day due to problems with technology.
Among the 1,000 employees surveyed, 23% admitted spending between three to six hours in total each week waiting to get work done due to an IT issue. On average, office workers are left waiting for 2.03 hours each week – wasting the equivalent of 12.8 working days over the course of 2017, which means employees working in an IT issue-free environment would have reached the same yearly productivity level as the average office worker by 11 December.
The alarming findings suggest that 23% of workers surveyed believe IT issues are their biggest barrier to productivity at work, while 45% of the respondents have never had a week at work where they weren't slowed down by IT issues across their office set up.
The poll also revealed that IT issues keep 13% surveyed waiting more than half an hour each day to get work done, while 4% have to wait more than an hour every day to be able to complete work tasks.
"Improving the technology that underpins office processes means that teams can focus on the important things in life: being more productive at work, spending more time with friends and family and maybe even sleeping longer," said Michelle Senecal de Fonseca, Cetrix Area Vice President for Northern Europe.
"All businesses are competing fiercely for talent. Quite simply, it's those that have the easiest technology that will reap the benefits, attracting the best people to their company in the first place."
Britain's productivity is lagging so far that of some of their European counterparts that the average British worker has to work until Friday afternoon to produce what a German employee would produce in four days.
Workers in the US, meanwhile, would have to work an extra hour but would still produce more than the average Briton working on a Monday-Friday basis and the same applies to French workers.
Data released in July, showed the productivity of British workers fell back below pre-financial crisis levels, while in October the Office for Budget Responsibility said productivity grew just 0.2% a year for the past five years.
The OBR added any improvements would be marginal and that productivity will remain weak over the next five years, a development which could be extremely detrimental to public finances.
Last month, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said if British firms adopted the best tried-and-tested technologies instead of remaining stuck in old ways, it would add more than £100bn ($131bn) to the economy and reduce income inequality by 5%.