A recent survey conducted by CDW Canada sheds light on the challenges that hybrid workers are grappling with in the realm of the digital workspace, highlighting the impact of IT issues on their productivity.
The survey disclosed that 83 per cent of hybrid workers are losing hours to troubleshooting technology woes when they are working from the confines of their homes. On average, Canadian hybrid workers encountering IT problems reported a loss of three hours per week on resolving these issues.
A closer look at the data showed that network connectivity and VPN-related problems emerge as the most prominent IT issues plaguing hybrid workers. The survey revealed that network connectivity issues translated to a loss of over two and a half hours each week, closely followed by VPN connectivity issues, which accounted for an average loss of just over two hours per week. Other impediments cited by the surveyed workers encompassed a lack of proficient IT technical support, difficulties in collaborative document sharing, disruptions in video conferencing, and the scarcity of additional monitors.
“Equipping hybrid workers with proper hardware and software solutions ensures that teams can focus on work instead of wasting valuable time troubleshooting IT issues,” said Brian Matthews, senior manager, digital workspace at CDW Canada.
While the advantages of investing in IT for hybrid work are evident, the survey underscores the financial challenges that such investments can pose, particularly for small businesses. It also highlighted the risk of heightened cybersecurity vulnerabilities that result from neglecting technology investments. Small businesses, comprising organizations with less than 100 employees, are particularly susceptible to this scenario due to the potential financial barriers their employees face in a hybrid work environment. Alarmingly, over a third (37 per cent) of respondents within this category disclosed that they had to fund their own IT equipment, compared to 13 per cent of employees working in larger enterprises.
The ramifications of underinvestment in IT reverberate beyond productivity losses. Close to half (49 per cent) of respondents from small businesses resort to using personal devices to access work-related materials or perform tasks on a daily basis. This practice may pose a threat to the security of sensitive data, as these personal devices can inadvertently introduce vulnerabilities when connected through unsecured networks.
Addressing this concern, JT Thompson, practice lead, digital workspace at CDW Canada, cautioned, “Using personal phones, laptops, and tablets can severely impact the security of sensitive data by creating a larger attack surface on unsecured networks. As many small businesses also lack dedicated in-house IT support, it’s imperative that the right devices are being used to safeguard sensitive information.”
The survey also reports on the perspectives of IT decision-makers, revealing a difference in comfort levels when it comes to working from home. The findings show that approximately 18 per cent of IT decision-makers are deterred from remote work due to data security and privacy concerns.
These concerns over cybersecurity among IT decision-makers echo the observations made in CDW Canada’s 2023 Security Study, which examined the viewpoints of 553 IT security and risk & compliance professionals. That study found that 40 per cent of respondents who store their organization’s data in the cloud had experienced a security incident over the past year. Only 30 per cent of respondents confirmed the existence of comprehensive policies in their organizations for the monitoring and detection of threats across data, assets, applications, and services.