Time lost due to computer problems at work can add up quickly


In the middle of a big project, on time, the unthinkable happens: the computer freezes and the blue spinning signature or rainbow wheel signals the beginning of the end.

It is a reality that almost every employee who works on computers has experienced. In most cases, it is enough to call the IT professionals to get the employees back up and running as soon as possible.

Despite this, a new study from recruiting firm Robert Half Technology (NYSE: RHI) shows that workers lose an average of two weeks per year of productive work time to technology issues.

Justin Plaza, owner of Stamford-based JKP Technologies, said two weeks of wasted time is a fair estimate, though most of that time is due to user-caused issues – whether it’s visit a site that hijacks a computer with viruses, or simply not restarted the computer enough.

“It’s a wide variety of issues: printer, email, proprietary systems. The fun part is 99% of the time all they have to do is restart the computer, ”Plaza said. “I would also say that the majority of our calls, probably 80%, come from the user causing their own problem. “


One problem dominates the others. “The biggest waste of time is dealing with viruses, as it can be a two or three hour problem to resolve,” he said. “The virus industry, they’re making money now for doing that. They are way ahead of the curve and anti-virus technologies. Stay away from the word “free” and you will be fine. “

Gary Sacks, Robert Half Technology’s regional vice president for the New York City area, said that while two weeks might seem like a lot of wasted time, it’s nothing compared to the time saved by using modern technology in the first place.

“The good and the bad is that if we didn’t have the technology, you wouldn’t recognize that there is a problem, but it would take you 1,000 times longer to do all those tasks that you have to. do, ”Sacks said. “That is really, at the end of the day, the way to go. What happens with most of these problems is that the computer takes a long time to boot up, there are connectivity issues, printer problems, email problems … and people get impatient.

While technology delays can be inevitable, Sacks said there are things companies can do to make sure they’re wasting as little time as possible. The first is to ensure that the right IT professionals are in place to solve problems effectively and efficiently.

JKP is a third-party IT service provider with customers in Fairfield and Westchester counties, as well as New York City. With the growth of cloud-based services and remote access, more and more companies are outsourcing their IT needs rather than relying on internal services. It’s a business model that has worked well for companies like JKP, but can be problematic for issues that require a physical presence in the office.

Sacks said that while outsourcing may be the way to go for some companies, it is not the only solution to IT problems.

“It depends on your business and what kind of information is available and shared and unshared,” Sacks said. “You need both. … I have many clients who have outsourced, but they have someone in-house who can help with the help desk, because sometimes you need that person on to place.”

Although Sacks said it was out of the question to train employees to solve their own IT problems – there are things regular employees don’t and shouldn’t have access to – Plaza said training employees Restarting their computers when things go wrong or slow down is the first troubleshooting step that can prevent many phone calls.

Additionally, Sacks said that maintaining and delivering the latest technology can solve many time-wasting issues.

“You really need to proactively communicate and make sure your people have the right technology as soon as possible,” Sacks said. “If you have the latest and greatest technology, you will have fewer problems. You should also anticipate that as you grow older and technology and issues get more complicated, you will need more support. Whatever your business does, you should be able to anticipate the need for additional support.

[email protected]; 203-625-4411; Twitter: @kaitlynkrasselt


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