92% of SME owners see the latest technology as essential for productivity and SME owners spend almost three hours a week solving IT problems.

New research has revealed time spent on technology issues could be a major contributor to the UK’s productivity gap. The report shows that small business owners are spending nearly three and a half hours on sales and close to three hours on marketing a week to drive new business, IT accounts for two hours and 47 minutes, and office management almost three hours.

The findings – part of Samsung Electronics ‘More Good Days at Work’ initiative  –  highlight that the situation is mirrored in workers, with 91 per cent losing concentration by coming to the rescue to help colleagues with IT issues. With two-thirds of workers spending between 15 and 45 minutes a day helping their colleagues with these issues, businesses are losing almost four hours a week per employee.

81 per cent of those surveyed feel they are most productive in the morning, with nearly half revealing that 10-is the most productive hour . It also appears that a break to refuel at lunchtime helps 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).

With business rates on the rise, the need for businesses to adjust their working environment is highlighted by the finding that nearly two-thirds of SME owners encourage mobile working. And, ensuring that their team has access to the latest technology (92 per cent) is more important to SME owners in increasing productivity than 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).

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.

“Changing and updating technology for companies is obviously much more complex than simply upgrading your personal phone, especially for smaller companies that don’t necessarily have dedicated IT support. The problem is that workers then often bear the brunt of this because it means they have frustrating or old technology to use at work, despite perhaps having newer devices in their home lives. There’s also lots of unlocked potential in the fact that companies often don’t recognise the power of training or even good practice-sharing when it comes to using apps and tools. In general, getting more savvy about our relationship with technology is a huge opportunity to boost productivity as well as helping people to focus on what they love, and live a more balanced life, too.”