One in four frustrated office workers believe smashing or trading company laptops and phones is best way to get an upgrade
British workers put company survival at risk as they revolt against using Europe’s oldest computers
London – 12 April 2011 – Alarming new research from, Mozy, the world’s most trusted provider of online backup, has found that one in four office workers think purposely breaking their work computer or mobile, or trading it in at a store themselves, is the best way to get a new one, leaving companies not only at risk of losing property but also vital data that keeps them afloat.
With 40 per cent of office workers stating that their aging workplace PC damages their efficiency, through incidents such as crashes and data loss, the research implies that it’s no wonder that some employees are willing to resort to extremes just to get an upgrade. However, with significant implications to businesses of losing the information on the broken devices, smash-happy Brits might not realise the implications of what they’re suggesting.
Mozy’s research, based on the feedback of 3,000 office workers across the UK, France and Germany, found that, of the three countries, British workers are forced to use the most outdated workplace computers, leaving them prone to failure. The average computer in a British office was found to be over five years old, compared to German businesses, where the average age of a computer is only two years and seven months. The survey suggests that this is because German businesses tended to be more efficient at keeping up with regular office refresh cycles to replace outdated technology.
Mozy’s research found that the French were far more likely than the Brits or Germans to think breaking their office device was the quickest way to get an upgrade. Three times as many French respondents as Germans believe deliberately breaking their devices is the best option, with the majority of Germans trusting their bosses to get them an upgrade when the time was right.
British workers become particularly frustrated when their work computers fail to match the performance of the PCs they’ve grown accustomed to at home. 40 per cent of office workers surveyed have newer computers at home than they do at work – with those work computers being, on average, two years older.
The most worrying fact discovered by this research is that office employees who reported their work computer was older than their home computer were twice as likely to think that breaking a device is the best way to get an upgrade out of their employer. For those businesses that do not have automatic backup systems in place for devices like laptops and phones, this poses a great risk to loss of data and important files.
Interestingly, over a quarter of respondents also reported that their employers have not been refreshing IT as frequently as they have in the past, due to the state of the economy. The financial sector is reporting the highest level of impact on their efficiency due to old work technology crashing and losing data, or slow processing speeds keeping a fifth of this sector from performing at their best. This group was also more ‘smash happy’ than average.
Claire Galbois-Alcaix, EMEA senior marketing manager at online backup company Mozy, comments: "Brits have come to expect a certain level of speed and quality when using computers and mobiles in their workplace. Employees no longer want to be held up by slow or faulty devices but they might not realise the level of damage they can be doing to the companies they work for by taking matters into their own hands. The data on their laptop is almost certainly going to be worth more than the laptop itself and breaking it gives the business no way to migrate that information to the new device. Data loss can destroy companies and, in a fragile economy, no business can afford it.
"Employers also need to take action. It’s bad enough that they are running their businesses on computers that are so old that they could fail at any moment but, with a quarter of workers sharing the perception that bending the rules is the simplest option, there’s a real danger that that those doddery devices will be helped on their way to the scrap heap. To protect themselves, employers need to make sure that every computer they are using is backed up at least once a day – with a special focus on backups happening when laptops are off-site and vulnerable."
Depressingly, 10 per cent of UK workers said they’d even resort to buying new parts for their work devices themselves to perform their own upgrade; particularly those who work in smaller organisations. Although, employees in these smaller companies are also less willing to think that breaking their device would provide a good route to getting an old device.
The Mozy research, conducted by Vanson Bourne, surveyed 600 IT managers and 3,000 employees across the UK, France and Germany in January 2011. For further details on the research, please click here.