New research has revealed that a third of UK office workers experience problems with their workplace technology which, on average, can take over three days to be replaced.

What does this mean for already struggling IT departments when 8 in 10 people in the UK agree that flexible working is here to stay? Simply put, this means that IT departments need to get smart about how they support their workforce – and quickly.

These results are part of an independent research report called ‘Changing behaviours of a flexible workforce in 2022 and beyond’ research, commissioned by Smart Locker Provider Velocity Smart Technology. The research investigated how offices will change in 2022 and how business leaders can support the future of IT support.

Despite the obvious strain IT departments have been subjected to over the last two years, almost 4 in 10 UK workers actually said that support from their IT department has improved.

Anthony Lamoureux, CEO of Velocity Smart Technology, said, “Minimising employee downtime due to an IT failure was a constant challenge when the majority of the workforce was office based, now it has become an almost impossible conundrum as the workforce can be spread over 100s, sometimes 1000s of miles.”

On average, it takes just over three days to receive replacement hardware from an IT department, which often still requires some face to face interaction with IT consultants to access new or replacement hardware. Over half of UK workers (52%) reported that they have to collect it themselves from the IT department, or a member of the IT support team delivers it by hand.

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This needless interaction is both hugely frustrating to the IT support team who are acting as delivery men and women, and is a serious detriment to overall productivity.

Lamoureux continues, “More often than not, replacement laptops, tables and phones can be pre-configured and set up online, so why are expensive, in demand IT resources compelled to act as a postal service? This is not just wasting the time of employees; it is a vastly inefficient IT support model – especially when there are proven alternatives that are faster and preferred.”

In Velocity Smart’s 2020 survey, 19% of employees confirmed they would prefer to collect hardware from a smart locker – and for good reasons.

“Smart lockers are not only the logical extension of the trend towards self-service access to IT services but with flexible working here to stay, companies need to adapt still further to support the extended workforce.”

“Employees can access the new kit within 45 minutes – rather than three days – minimising downtime and the impact on productivity. There is also a significant saving in time for support staff. It is more efficient on all fronts – yet to find out just 1% UK companies are offering this option is baffling. Now is the time for businesses to invest in more robust technology to support remote teams in the long term.” Concludes Lamoureux.

In the most recent survey, three quarters of UK employees are positive about the idea of using smart lockers for replacement IT equipment. Taking this approach not only provides employees with 24/7 access to IT equipment but also helps IT support to meet the challenges of supporting a flexible, hybrid workforce.


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