The emotional and financial cost of working with outdated technology

It really is remarkable to think about how quickly computers made their way from revolutionary, clunky  novelty, to sleek ubiquitous workplace companion. Of course, this innovation has come with a nearly equal share of benefits and setbacks— some concrete, some indicative of larger issues.

What has been coined as the Technology Gap, or alternatively The Digital Divide or App gap if you like, locates the disparity between citizens that successfully interact with computers or mobile devices on a daily basis and those that do not. All the way back in 1942,  political economist Joseph Schumpeter identified the broad implications of this imbalance as the most relevant feature of capitalism; “Creative destruction.”

With this in mind, our friends over at ZenBusiness conducted a survey to learn about the many complications that employees face when they are forced to work with outdated technology or a dearth of necessary office supplies, writting,

“In 2019, the size of computers has shrunk, but their capabilities have exponentially grown. Despite advancements in this technology, though, accessibility continues to be a growing issue as the “tech gap” widens. As a result of this gap and other issues, many American offices are stuck with outdated technologies, low stocks of supplies, and a lack of integrated communication among teams.”

More than 50% of the respondents say that their workplace technology was either moderately or completely outdated. According to the survey, computers caused workers the most difficulty, followed by printers, digital delays, cloud-based programs, cybersecurity, and general internet hiccups.


Employees reported that their workplace technology was moderately or completely outdated, a fairly low standard for workers. Specifically, computers (83.1%) and software (70.5%) were the most commonly outdated technology at work. As computers get older, they might not be able to support the newest iterations of a device’s operating system, while outdated software inhibits an office from taking advantage of the latest developments in business technology,” the authors explain.

As a consequence the average employee loses about 40 minutes of productivity a day, which further results in a $3,930 annual lost for employers. A routine lack of supplies additionally impacted productivity, leading to a median lost of $1,800 per week. Moreover, 93% of workers say that trying to operate outdated technology severely affects their overall  job satisfaction.  Thirty three percent of all of the employees surveyed say that they would even look for a new job due to their workplace’s outdated technology.