What’s Your Biggest IT Timewaster?

What’s Your Biggest IT Timewaster?

Dick Smith has produced an office productivity study suggesting that we’re wasting two weeks each year sorting put paper jams and other technical glitches. That seems a little extreme to us — two weeks equates to about 80 hours or close to 90 minutes per week. However, we’re also sure that dodgy equipment is causing some lost time in the office.

The “Dick Smith Productivity Study” polled 252 office workers and 251 small business owners in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

The study does have some “interesting” findings. For example, Greg Hirsch, Dick Smith’s Office Merchandise Manager stressed that technology such as laptops, printers and hard drives should be updated at least every two years. He said, “People are placing more and more demands on technology. For example, we’re more likely to use tablets for work and personal use which means we’re outgrowing our devices at a faster rate than we’re replacing it.”

In contrast, we’re seeing businesses trying to get more life out of resources. In particular, we’re seeing computers and servers being held onto for four or more years, as finances have been much tighter in recent years.

That said, we’re curious. What’s your biggest technical time waster? We don’t mean people messing about with lolcats on Tumblr. We’re interested in finding out what IT glitches are burning time in your office.


  • Reading Luke Plunkett articles! Just kidding (not really).

    We have a lot of corporate systems (document, change, asset management applications) that are hosted offshore and our site has crap bandwidth. Working with these applications is the bane of everyone on site.

  • Man where do I start,

    Clients who insist on keeping their 6 year old server and asking for more services to put installed onto it, then complain about why it’s not working how it should ect…

    DET school’s that won’t embrace Gigabit networks and still run off 100mb connections – Schools that have over 1000 kids

    I could go on

    • Oh god the outdated clients.

      I cannot stress ENOUGH how many hours I’ve wasted over months where they won’t upgrade to the latest version of our software to fix a priority one issue.

      Sure, your change approval/test path takes a while. Would be quicker than me billing you support hours non-stop.

  • Meetings! And more specifically waiting for people to turn up who are late for meetings. I think a meeting on average starts 5 minutes after it’s supposed to. at least 10 meetings a week (less than most), 50 hours wasted a week. times by the number of people in the meeting…and it soon starts adding up!

    • That infers that all time in meetings is productive. Which is untrue. If you want a productive meeting, cut the time of the meeting in half. Same outcome.

  • Paper jams?? My document centre at work (a Fuji-Xerox) is the most reliable damn thing I’ve ever used. Up to 1000 print/scan/fax’s a day without a problem… unless I overfill the paper.

    My biggest problem is the virtualisation we use. Oh god! It’s horrible! My PC is an absolute dinosaur with an old PowerPC CPU and 1Gb RAM. We use Citrix ICA delivering Windows 2000 server. Just loading a simple web page in IE 8 = hang for 60secs. Loading a web page with a lot of Java components (like Oracle Siebels) = 3-5 mins + heaps of lag and random hangs. Printers just drop off the network at random.

    Some days I spend more time bashing my head against my desk than I do working.

  • New user creation: we have a manual paper based new user form and creation process. Accounts need to be created seperately in at least 3 different systems and can take upwards of 30 minutes per new employee. The deletion process is just as terrible. I know there is user managment systems out there and i bang on about them to my manager everytime i get the chance. What makes this even worse is that there is only limited people with the skills, knowlege to add a new user in some of those systems so while the user can access one part of the system it could take a few weeks before they have access to the next part because the person who knows how to was too busy / away.

  • Management staff, especially senior management staff, who just believe everyone else exists to jump when they can’t be bothered learning something new that they consider to be beneath them, such as opening an email attachment.

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