Culture, Chaos and Dread: TOPdesk Releases the ‘Office Panic Poll’

 Study reveals chaotic onboarding, irritating tasks and IT nightmares

TOPdesk Canada, a leading provider of enterprise service management solutions, released the findings of the Office Panic Poll, a study of 1,500 Canadians that dives into the cultural effects and chaos of people’s most cringe-worthy IT experiences and technology setbacks at work.

“There’s a famous meme in the IT helpdesk world that reads ‘CAPS LOCK – Preventing Login Since 1980,’”

First day on the job – chaotic onboarding

Nearly half of Canadians (46%) have experienced a technology issue on their first day at a new job. One-in-five didn’t know their computer login info and got locked out for the first couple of days.

  • 19% were missing a phone, computer, or other vital material to do their job
  • 18% didn’t have their work email set up and couldn’t communicate with internal team
  • 15% didn’t have a key card and couldn’t get into the office
  • 15% were forced to jump from department to department to get set up in the system
  • 12% had to set up their own computer and phone system with no guidance

“The survey highlights something many people have endured in a new job – a chaotic onboarding,” said Robert van der Gulik, Managing Director of TOPdesk Canada. “If an employee experiences frustration on the first day, it sets their expectations of the company’s work culture moving forward. A smooth onboarding process makes employees feel supported, and creates happier workers and a less fearful, and potentially toxic environment.”

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The tasks we despise at work

No matter the industry or role, every job involves unpleasant tasks – some worse than others. The survey found respondent’s least favourite aspect of work is that they feel too busy to keep up, because of an overload of administrative work. Those mundane, admin tasks are a nuisance for one-in-four employees.

Too many meetings and customer demands were tied for second place as the least favourite aspect of a job (18%). These were followed by too many emails (15%), dealing with people outside their department (15%), and working with technology (13%).

“There is a popular saying that ‘I survived another meeting that should have been an email’ – that sentiment comes into play here,” said van der Gulik. “If a company or school organizes workflow, there is less need to talk/meet about it and more opportunity to focus on productivity and, again, overall happiness of employees.”

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The most dreaded IT issues

The survey found more than seven-in-10 Canadians have endured at least one dreaded IT issue on the job, including:

  • Computer runs too slowly (43%)
  • The Internet is either too slow or not working at all (39%)
  • Can’t print anything (30%)
  • Locked out due to unsuccessful login attempts (26%) or CAPS lock (14%)
  • Computer just shut down unexpectedly (25%)
  • Deleted files by mistake (19%)
  • The blue screen of death (16%)

“There’s a famous meme in the IT helpdesk world that reads ‘CAPS LOCK – Preventing Login Since 1980,’” said van der Gulik. “It’s very funny, but the truth is, there may be no bigger timewaster than troubleshooting technology on the job. It also impacts stress levels at work and affects deadlines and productivity. People want to do their work, and when they can’t it creates frustration and can influence the happiness of others – it’s like a snowball tearing through the organization.”

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