• 39% of employees who use business applications daily spend up to 30 minutes a day looking for support, adding up to more than three working weeks a year
  • For large UK businesses, this could result in an eye-watering loss of 71,183 hours each year costing over £1 million
  • For large US companies, this translates to 172,091 lost hours costing over $6 million
  • AppLearn CEO says businesses need to address the hidden costs of unintuitive technology and prioritize a seamless employee experience

Employees are losing up to 2.5 hours of time a week looking for support on how to use software applications, new research by AppLearn has revealed. This adds up to 130 hours per employee across the course of a year, the equivalent of three working weeks, at a cost of £1 million for large businesses.

YouGov surveyed over 2,000 employees to examine their experience of using software since the pandemic began. It found that employees who use business applications daily are spending up to six hours a day (76%) using software, such as Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Office, Zoom, Salesforce, and Workday, with 22% spending more than 6 hours a day.

Commissioned by AppLearn, the data showed that 50% of these employees are spending as much as up to three hours a day looking for more instructions, information or help when using software. While the majority lose 30 minutes or less per day (39%), this time spent could add up to an eye-watering loss in productivity for businesses in the long-term.

For the average large business in Great Britain, based on the latest UK Government data, this could equate to 71,183 hours of productivity lost per year. When analyzed alongside the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) annual survey on employee earnings, this equates to a loss of over £1 million annually.

In the US, the latest available data from The United States Census Bureau puts the number of large firms, associated employees and hourly earnings as much higher. As a result, the potential hours lost per business rises to a huge 172,091 and a $6 million annual cost, all because application users have to burn time looking for support and guidance rather than completing their tasks.

Andrew Avanessian, CEO at AppLearn commented: “These figures show the shocking hidden costs associated with spending more of the working day online. The way employees and organizations have adapted and accelerated their digital transformation journeys over the last year has been incredible. However, by plugging the gap with shorter term solutions, the focus on the employee experience has been lost.

“We’ve seen, from our own data, the sheer amount of time and cost associated with users grappling with unintuitive tech. Often employees are forced out of applications, resorting to search engines online to try and figure out how to access a particular part of an application or to complete a task, and it’s costing themselves and businesses valuable time.”

A sample of 1million end users on AppLearn’s digital adoption platform – software that layers over other applications to provide end users with in-app support – found that on average, employees are spending 10% of their working week simply trying to find tasks, related information or help within an application – a problem termed ‘navigation burn’.

Andrew added: “To reap the full rewards of their tech investments and keep employees happy and productive, businesses need to prioritize creating a seamless and intuitive employee experience. Once they get this right, the opportunities and the time clawed back from making tech simpler to use will be massive.”

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