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Don’t underestimate adverse effects of poor tech tools on remote workforce

On average, employees across all working models are now expected to use around five different HR technologies in their role, so while remote workers are hit harder, all groups are suffering as a result of additional admin burden. With a quarter of HR budgets decreasing this year, the study suggests that organisations are wasting resources on a multitude of ineffective tools that many workers are choosing not to engage with. Remote workers, in particular, respond poorly to this plethora of ineffective tools; a quarter deciding not to adopt these technologies at all.

New research by Applaud, an employee experience (EX) and HR tech solution provider, has highlighted how UK remote workers are bearing the brunt of multiple, burdensome and unintuitive HR technology tools. Exposing the experience gap between different working models, 77% of remote workers are being asked to use up to five different tools, compared to 69% of office-based employees and hybrid workers. The effects of this over-saturation include decreased job satisfaction and lower employee retention.

On average, employees across all working models are now expected to use around five different HR technologies in their role, so while remote workers are hit harder, all groups are suffering as a result of additional admin burden. With a quarter of HR budgets decreasing this year, the study suggests that organisations are wasting resources on a multitude of ineffective tools that many workers are choosing not to engage with. Remote workers, in particular, respond poorly to this plethora of ineffective tools; a quarter deciding not to adopt these technologies at all.

The effects of poor technologies and workflow congestion cause nearly half (48%) of remote workers to feel frustration in their roles. In fact, 25% of remote workers say that poor, burdensome technologies give the impression that the company is not innovative; 9% of remote workers said they had even considered quitting due to these issues. This figure rises to 15% for hybrid workers and 13% for office-based employees.

And, with Gartner suggesting that an effortless HR experience can have an 11% impact on employee performance, it is not only over-spend that employers are risking. Over 45% of workers report losing between 16 to 30 minutes a week, equivalent to 25.5 working hours a year, because of poor workflows due to inefficient HR tech tools.

Ivan Harding, CEO and co-founder of Applaud commented on the findings, “At a time when employers are seeking to recruit and retain top talent, a culture of innovation is critical. When it is remote workers that suffer the biggest burden of poor technology, we can see that current tech strategies are flying in the face of innovative HR. Not only that, but the experience gap for remote vs hybrid and office workers is not acceptable. Businesses need to level the playing field and provide seamless experiences that enhance working life, not add unnecessary frustration.”

Not only did the research highlight this crucial experience gap, but it also found that one in five UK workers want to work remotely. Right now, it seems fully remote working models are the least popular option for employers with just 6% of respondents working this way. Instead, a balanced distribution of hybrid and office-based workers emerged, with 45% on-site and the remaining 50% embracing a hybrid approach to work.

“Remote work is popular with employees, and employers that get it right can reap many rewards. However, it is clear that they are not embracing equality of experience across the workforce. This is particularly frustrating as it is an issue that can be quite easily overcome by adopting HR tech strategies that place frictionless, single-platform experiences as standard.”

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