• Four in 10 employees report frequent difficulty with using software.
  • Almost all (96%) businesses are experiencing software adoption challenges.
  • The average mid- to large-sized organisation spends £2,086.55 per year per employee on software training.

A third (35%) of UK employees waste at least one hour per week tackling software-related issues, according to a new survey by Germany-based technology company, Userlane.

Userlane’s ‘State of Digital Adoption’ report reveals that the majority of employees (61%) spend at least 30 minutes per week on these challenges, indicating that on a national scale, businesses are losing millions of potentially productive working hours.

Employees frustrated by software experiences

The research found that four in 10 employees (40%) frequently experience frustration or difficulty when using software (‘often’ or ‘all the time’), with most (70%) stating that their overall use of technology at work has increased over the past two years.

The three most commonly reported causes of software frustration were:

  1. The software is time-consuming to use (44%)
  2. The IT department does not respond to queries or issues quickly enough (39%)
  3. The software involves too many complex processes (23%)

The survey also revealed a clear relationship between the employee experience and use of software at work. A large majority of respondents (88%) agreed that being able to use software without frustration is key to both their happiness at work and productivity.

The potential impact on employee wellbeing and productivity is reflected in how employees typically respond to software challenges:

  • Just under half (44%) have postponed important work tasks
  • Four in ten (41%) have openly complained to their employer
  • Around a fifth (18%) have looked for a way to complete the same tasks manually
  • One in ten (10%) have refused to continue using the software

In some cases, the impact on employee wellbeing can be more severe, with around 1 in 10 (8%) of those surveyed admitting they have considered leaving their job over software-related issues.

Business leaders struggle with digital adoption headaches

In a separate survey of senior decision makers at mid-sized and large organisations, Userlane found that almost all (96%) businesses face digital adoption challenges, meaning that they are struggling to achieve full employee usage of, and value from, their investments in workplace technology, including software.

This is leading to common issues like increased IT costs (38%), higher training costs (32%) and reduced employee productivity (28%). Furthermore, 78% reported an increase in digital adoption challenges as a result of remote and hybrid working arrangements becoming more common.

More than two-thirds (68%) of those surveyed have seen an increase in their software training costs, with the average organisation spending £2,086.55 per employee every year. Nonetheless, 24% indicated that less than half of all their software implementations achieve the desired return of investment, in large part due to poor digital adoption.

In their attempts to improve digital adoption, business leaders are pursuing a range of strategies, with the most popular being:

  • Communicating the benefits of new software to employees (36%)
  • Expanding IT support desk capacity (34%)
  • Arranging more classroom-based training sessions (33%)
  • Introducing a Digital Adoption Platform (30%)
  • Producing written software training guides (30%)

Hartmut Hahn, CEO, Userlane, comments:

“From these findings, it’s clear that digital adoption must improve if large-scale software implementations are to prove successful. It is, of course, important for businesses to address the shortcomings of their software training. But we must also remember that a “one size fits all” approach is not going to work here — we all learn in different ways, and this must be reflected in the training and support companies offer.

“Even though it may seem like a large undertaking, improving digital adoption is clearly not just an IT issue, but an employee experience challenge too,” Hahn adds. “And for this reason, it’s even more essential that it becomes a priority for businesses. If employees are struggling to use software, businesses are not receiving the best possible return on investment and, in fact, they are actively losing both time and money. In other words, digital transformation can only truly succeed with strong digital adoption. And strong digital adoption ultimately improves the employee experience.”

Userlane’s full ‘State of Digital Adoption’ report is available to download here.