HRE’s number of the day: time wasted on HR tasks

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40 million: the number of hours employees waste each month completing HR-related tasks

Employees not only hate doing tasks like reading benefits information or submitting PTO requests and expense reports, they waste hours of time on such tasks, according to data from Topia, an HR tech company. The time employees waste on completing HR-related tasks adds up to 40 million hours each month and about $8.15 billion in lost productivity across large companies in the United States and the United Kingdom. Survey responses were gathered from 1,000 full-time employees at large enterprise companies in the U.S. and the UK.

What it means to HR leaders

The survey results are the latest to confirm a common workplace issue: that employees dislike everyday tasks that are necessary, like reviewing their benefits.

The survey found that about one in three employees say they’d rather go to the dentist, do the dishes, wait on hold or sit in traffic than complete HR tasks like submitting and approving PTO requests, reading HR benefits or compiling and submitting expense reports.

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But the Topia survey finds that the time employees take on such tasks also gets in the way of productivity. The problem, says CEO Shawn Farshchi, is subpar technologies that hinder getting work done and make the tasks take longer than they should. Nearly 60% of workers say their HR tools are disjointed, difficult, outdated and glitchy or provide a poor user experience, the survey found.

Related: Implementing a new tool? Follow these best practices

“The results of this survey prove that while companies might think they’re doing a great job with employee experience, there are still a lot of unmet expectations, particularly when it comes to ease of use of the tools required to do one’s job,” Farshchi says. “To attract and retain top talent, organizations will need integrated technology solutions that automate mundane tasks, connect disjointed systems and allow them to operate with the efficiency, global mindset and broader perspective today’s employees expect.”

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Kathryn Mayer
Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s former benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver.