SMEs are spending nearly three and a half hours on sales and close to three hours on marketing a week to drive new business, with IT accounting for two hours and 47 minutes, and office management almost three hours, according to research by Samsung Electronics.
The findings, which are part of Samsung’s “More Good Days at Work” initiative, revealed how time spent on technology issues could be a major contributor to the UK’s productivity gap.
The survey showed that nine out of 10 SMEs put having access to up-to-date technology first when it came to increasing productivity, compared with always being contactable (83 per cent), having access to emails outside of work hours (81 per cent) and perks such as team drinks and half days (80 per cent).
Commenting on the findings, Graham Allcott, author of How To Be A Productivity Ninja and founder of Think Productive, said: “We have some fantastic businesses and innovators in the UK SME sector, but there are still big productivity issues and tips to improveneeded.
“A lot of workers are distracted from the things that create impact and growth by tasks like IT issues, and we are falling behind the rest of the world as a result. While lots of these distractions might only be for 15 minutes here and there, this quickly adds up and affects overall productivity.”
More than four in five (81 per cent) of respondents felt they were most productive in the morning, with 10-11am being the most productive hour (42 per cent). It also appears that a break to refuel at lunchtime helped workers increase their motivation, with the second and third most productive times being between 2pm and 3pm (32 per cent) and 3pm and 4pm (30 per cent).
Graham Long, Vice President of Enterprise at Samsung UK & Ireland, said:
“SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK economy, and it’s important that they work in the most efficient and productive way possible. While technology is certainly a productivity enabler, it’s clear that SME owners and employees are struggling to unleash its full potential. Businesses need technology that is easy, secure and that their workers feel comfortable and familiar using.
“Our focus is on making sure technology remains an asset, not a frustration – because everything working perfectly isn’t a luxury, it’s an essential. That’s why we have a dedicated business service centre who are on hand to troubleshoot remotely; allowing businesses to keep running smoothly and importantly giving back time to owners and employees alike to focus on their day job.”