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Many British workers victims of ‘substandard’ technology in secondary offices, shows research

Workers have claimed they are forced to use poorer technology when outside of the main office

British workers are more likely to use “substandard” technology when outside of their employer’s main office, according to Citrix.

The company, which provides software for remote desktop access, surveyed 1,000 employees and 500 managers in medium and large-sized enterprises about secondary offices and their attitudes towards flexible working.

Of those surveyed, 54% said they experienced worse technology performance when away from the main office, and the same is true for managerial respondents.

Just over 40% of managers said their organisation has the same technology across different workplaces, but 19% said it was “significantly” different.  

Michelle Senecal de Fonseca, area vice-president of Northern Europe at Citrix, said there needs to be a change of mentality surrounding the technology available outside of the main office.

“British businesses are falling victim to what we have called the ‘second office syndrome’, whereby those who work away from HQ are held back by substandard technology,” she said.

“As we move away from the traditional workplace, we must finally grasp the working-from-anywhere culture and reposition work as something to do, not somewhere to be.” 

More than 60% of male workers said better technology outside of the office HQ would ensure improved productivity, and just over 40% of all respondents aged 25-34 agreed this was their biggest issue.

The survey also showed that while 56% of the managers saw the right culture in their organisation regarding flexible working, they agreed there should be better technology available to staff.

Read more about flexible working

“A change in management strategy is needed to embrace the multitudes of technologies available to businesses and to pool knowledge, expertise and resources from across the organisation,” said Fonseca.

“Business leaders must place emphasis on how technology can support and enable everyone to perform at their best – this will be key to improving productivity, encouraging collaboration and uniting workforces across Britain.”

The majority of respondents also saw a difference in resources (66%) between offices, along with culture (61%) and collaboration (58%).

London-based organisations appear to be more open to the idea of flexible working compared with the rest of the UK, with 44% of surveyed respondents saying this was actively encouraged.

In contrast, several regions across the country said this type of work is discouraged – 39% in north-east England, 37% in Scotland and 36% in Wales, Northern Ireland and Yorkshire and the Humber. Furthermore, nearly 20% of all respondents aged over 45 said their organisation makes them feel disconnected when working outside of the main office.

Other results from the survey include that nearly 35% of those aged 45-54 saw themselves as less efficient outside of the main office. Additionally, almost half of female workers (45%) said company practices such as attitudes towards flexible working, office distractions and organisational culture were the biggest factors in a lack of productivity.

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