New research suggests time spent on technology issues could be a major contributor to Canada’s productivity gap and global competitiveness.

While small business owners are spending nearly three and a half hours on sales and close to three hours on marketing a week to drive new business, IT accounts for two hours and 47 minutes, and office management almost three hours.

Canada currently ranks 6th in the G7 and 14th in the G20 for productivity per person, and spending less time on these tasks could help to close this gap.

The research findings highlight that the situation is compounded in employees, with nine in ten (91%) losing concentration by coming to the rescue to help colleagues with IT issues.

With two-thirds (63%) of workers spending between 15 and 45 minutes a day helping their colleagues with these issues, businesses are losing almost four hours a week per employee.

A lot of workers are distracted from the things that create impact and growth by tasks like IT issues, and Canadian businesses are falling behind the rest of the world as a result. While lots of these distractions might only be for 15 minutes here and there, this quickly adds up and affects overall productivity.

When it comes to the time of day that employees get most done, over four in five (81%) feel they are most productive in the morning, with 10-11am being the most productive hour (42%).

It also appears that a break to refuel at lunchtime helps workers increase their motivation with the second and third most productive times being between 2pm and 3pm (32%) and 3pm and 4pm (30%).

With business rates on the rise, the need for businesses to adjust their working environment is highlighted by the finding that nearly two-thirds (62%) of SME owners encourage mobile working. And, ensuring that their team has access to the latest technology (92%) is more important to SME owners in increasing productivity than always being contactable (83%), having access to emails outside of work hours (81%) and perks such as team drinks and half-days (80%).

SMBs are the lifeblood of Canada’s economy, and it’s essential that they work in the most efficient and productive way possible. While technology is certainly a productivity enabler, it’s clear that SMB owners and employees are struggling to unleash its full potential. Businesses need technology that is easy, secure and that their workers feel comfortable and familiar using.

As a managed IT service provider (MSP) our focus is on making sure technology remains an asset, not a frustration – because everything working perfectly isn’t a luxury, it’s an essential. That’s why we have a dedicated IT service desk who are on hand to troubleshoot remotely; allowing businesses to keep running smoothly and importantly giving back time to owners and employees alike to focus on their day job.

Indeed, changing, updating, and upgrading technology for companies is infinitely more complex than simply upgrading a smartphone, especially for smaller companies that usually don’t have dedicated IT support. The problem is that workers then often bear the brunt of this because it means they have frustrating or old technology to use at work, despite perhaps having newer devices in their homes. Hence, a core service of an MSP is to monitor the performance of the hardware and software as well as manage their life-cycle for maximum efficiency.

Moreover, companies often don’t recognize the power of training or even having an easily accessible knowledge base when it comes to using apps and tools. Your MSP should be able to provide guidance as well the online tools for workers to access best practices.

In general, getting more savvy about Canadian business relationship with technology is a huge opportunity to boost productivity as well as helping workers to focus on what they love, and live a more balanced life, too. MSPs have an important role to chart a technology road-map to get companies there.

NUMENTIS is an MSP offering managed IT services in Greater Toronto Area. As the world becomes more reliant on digital technology, it’s important that your business has the reliable and secure technology solutions your customers and workers need. For an IT consulting firm and service provider that you can trust, contact NUMENTIS and discover the IT solutions you need to support your business.