Workers waste month a year wrestling with unclear tasks

Nov 10 2005 by Nic Paton Print This Article

British workers waste nearly a month each year struggling to keep up with demands placed on them for which they have not been given proper guidance, a study has suggested.

The study by training body City & Guilds found nearly one in five office workers had difficulty coping with the simple tasks asked of them.

A further third felt frustrated when unable to handle the daily demands of the office.

Today's office worker was simply expected to keep up with new technology, with one in three complaining they had not received any training from their employer to help them manage their administration.

Yet, despite failing to implement training, employers believed their staff's skills were not up to scratch, with nearly one in five bosses saying their employees' basic office skills were merely average, rising to a third in Scotland , Wales and Northern Ireland.

Whether simply perceived or real, this lack of ability has a knock on effect on employers' bottom lines.

One in two bosses agreed their company's productivity would improve if their staff were better at these tasks.

Ben Knight, business support specialist at City & Guilds, said: "With ever-evolving technology in the workplace, increased demands are being placed on our workforce.

"Nowadays, employees are expected to know how to navigate complex computer programmes and undertake a greater amount of administration work, as well as doing their day-to-day jobs," he added.

This in turn placed huge pressure on staff and could have serious consequences on their productivity as well as their stress levels.

"It's essential that employers invest in training for their staff, so that they are fully prepared for the additional responsibilities they may face," said Knight.

"Looking at the bigger picture, the time that staff waste due to poor administration proficiency could, in theory, be a considerable challenge facing UK plc and a stark warning of our deteriorating economic performance," he added.