If you ask employees what they hate about their jobs, what sort of answers would you expect? Running through the usual list, we have things like bad bosses, too much overtime, too little pay, and work itself that fails to inspire.
Interestingly, though, none of those things are day-to-day gripes. Usually, they’re narratives that develop over time. People slowly fall out with their bosses, the type of work that they do, or the figure on their paycheck at the end of the month. None of these things have a direct practical effect on the tasks themselves.
The same, however, IS NOT true of IT. The biggest day-to-day issue for the majority of employees is the speed of computers in the office. When they run slowly, workers feel frustrated, trapped, and unable to get on with their tasks. They sit down at their desks and prepare themselves for an endless battle of man versus machine. And it’s not pleasant.
Most people can put up with a slow computer for a day or two. But when workers have to do battle with their equipment month after month, it quickly wears them out, and they start to wish that they had a better job.
Slow computers affect everything, from productivity to satisfaction. Most people just want to get on with their tasks for the day and get out of the way. But when computers run slowly, they’re unable to do that. Instead, they have all that additional cognitive overhead to deal with. It’s not great.
Businesses need to do something about this. In 2020, there’s no excuse for a slow computer. Every year, we see new advances that eliminate bottlenecks and make everything run faster.
Furthermore, the technology is not running out of steam. Silicon wafer manufacturer TSMC recently published an article on its blog that argued strongly that Moore’s law is not dead. Computers, the firm says, will continue to get faster for a long time yet, even if features on chips can’t get any smaller because of quantum effects.
For workers, this is good news. It means that even computers with heavy workloads should be able to continue running smoothly. With the price of low-energy chips coming down all the time, employers really don’t have any excuses. Desktop PCs should operate without a hitch these days. If they’re running slow, it suggests a real problem.
If you’re an employee and your company outright refuses to upgrade its systems, you might want to float the idea of introducing a BYOD policy. With things like mobile device management, creating secure bring-your-own-device hybrid IT systems is much easier than it is in the past. Plus, you get to work on your MacBook instead of relying on your company’s slow, dreary office computers.
If that’s not an option, you might also want to try lobbying your manager to solve the problem. Point out that it is slowing your work down and that you could get much more done if you had a more rapid computer.