Stressed at work? Blame the printer

Office workers spend more than two working weeks dealing with printer technical issues according to survey

Printer and computer problems continue to cause grief for Australian office workers with some reporting that they feel like smashing their PC according to a new survey.

The Dick Smith Productivity Study involved 503 respondents comprising of 252 office workers and 251 small business owners in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

Nine out of 10 workers surveyed reported wasting time at work due to paper jams, printer and photocopier issues.

For example, 22 per cent of respondents reported that they had spent a whole day trying to solve the problem while 30 per cent had to re-do documents after computers crashed. Almost one in five said they were late for a meeting because of printer issues.

Not surprisingly, one in four workers felt like smashing a computer or laptop screen when issues arose and one in 10 admitted they cried due to lost documents or computer crashes.

According to Dick Smith office merchandise manager, Greg Hirsch, these technical problems were exacerbated by old technology.

“People are placing more and more demands on technology. For example, we’re more likely to use tablets for work and personal use which means we’re outgrowing our devices at a faster rate than we’re replacing it,” he said in a statement.

Hirsch added that there is a lack of understanding on how to avoid computer crashes. He suggested using a cloud storage system to store data instead of using the computer's hard drive.

While 88 per cent of the office workers surveyed believed that investing in new technology would save time, over half claimed that their boss was too cheap to invest in equipment.

However, Mr Taxman principal, Adrian Raftery, said that some employers could take advantage of new small business tax concessions to invest in new technology.

“Small businesses can get the Australian Taxation Office [ATO] to subsidise these improvements by buying new equipment up to $6500 and get an immediate tax write-off for the full amount this year,” he said.

This equipment can include computers, monitors, security systems and printers.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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