Here’s some early holiday cheer — if Britain’s knowledge workers operated in an IT issue-free environment, they would reach the same yearly productivity level as the average office worker (battling IT challenges) by today, Monday, 11th December.

Commissioned by Citrix and carried out by Censuswide, our research quizzed over 1,000 full time office workers in companies with 250 or more employees across the UK. We wanted to pinpoint the biggest barriers to productivity at work, looking at the extent to which technology issues are impeding employee productivity in large UK businesses, as well as trying to understand the most common IT frustrations.

IT issues, it seems, are a significant obstacle to British business productivity, with nine out of ten (89 per cent) employees left waiting to get work done every day due to problems with technology.

Nationwide ‘Out of Office Day’ set for 11th December

Almost a quarter of office workers who responded to our survey (23 per cent) spend between 3-6 hours in total each week waiting to get work done due to an IT issue. On average, they are left waiting for 2.03 hours each week to get IT issues resolved, which means they wasted the equivalent of 12.8 working days over the course of 2017 (if you’d like a more detailed explanation of our methodology, see the end of post for more info on how we calculated this.)

Technology: enabling or inhibiting us at work?

More than one in five (23 per cent) of office workers surveyed admit IT issues are their biggest barrier to productivity at work. In fact, almost half of respondents (45 per cent) have never had a week at work where they weren’t slowed down by IT issues across their office set up. Staggeringly, eighty-nine per cent of those surveyed admitted their productivity was curtailed by IT on a daily basis.

Technology glitches seemingly only cause short delays of seconds or minutes, but the aggregate amount of lost time can be considerable. Screens or documents freezing is the most common IT frustration, with 30 per cent of surveyed office workers pinpointing this as a major annoyance. Not being able to connect to the server (28 per cent), a computer or device crashing (27 per cent) and waiting for the ‘wheel of death’ (23 per cent) closely followed this.

Making better use of time – both in the office, and outside of work

If given more “free time” at work, 13 per cent of respondents would prioritise spending more time on forward planning to be fully prepared, whilst the same proportion would choose to manage their schedules more effectively. Twelve per cent would look at boosting their productivity more generally.

Now, the best part. We also asked British office workers what they would do with a free day off, if they could be more productive, thanks to great tech. Almost two in five (37 per cent) of respondents would spend that extra time with family, whilst nearly a fifth (18 per cent) would spend it sleeping. Conversely, 11 per cent would use the time to get on with ‘life admin’ and one in 20 (5 per cent) would spend it doing DIY instead.

The war for talent – and why great tech matters

The bottom line is this: many employees don’t have specialist expertise in-network infrastructure, audio visual mechanics, and IT support. 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.

All businesses are competing fiercely for talent. And productivity matters to companies across the country, as we’ve heard frequently over the past few weeks. Quite simply, it’s those that have the easiest technology – and take time to make those micro IT changes to boost productivity – that will reap the benefits, attracting the best people to their company in the first place.


Citrix commissioned Censuswide to conduct an online survey of 1,000+ full time office workers at companies across the UK with 250 or more employees. This survey compiled responses from 1,110 respondents between 9th and 13th October 2017.

OOO Date – methodology

Censuswide data found that full time office workers are left waiting for 2.03 hours each week on average due to IT issues. Using 252 working days in 2017 and a standard five day working week in calculations meant that a total of 102.3 hours were found to be wasted while waiting for technology over the course of this year. Censuswide confirmed that, in total, 12.8 working days were wasted – based on eight average hours in a work day.

Factoring in workplaces being open between Christmas and New Year – as well as December bank holidays – led Censuswide to confirm that employees working in an IT issue-free environment would reach the same yearly productivity level as the average office worker by Monday 11th December.