A recent study conducted by Applaud, a leading employee experience (EX) and HR tech solution provider, has shed light on the detrimental impact of inadequate technology tools on the productivity and job satisfaction of remote workers in the UK.

The research highlights a stark experience gap between different working models, revealing that nearly eight out of ten remote workers are burdened with the use of multiple ineffective HR technology tools, leading to frustration and decreased productivity.

According to the study, 77 percent of remote workers are required to navigate as many as five different HR technology tools, in contrast to 69 percent of office-based employees and hybrid workers.

This saturation of tools has resulted in reduced job satisfaction and employee retention rates across all working models. While remote workers are disproportionately affected, the study indicates that all groups suffer due to the additional administrative burden imposed by ineffective tools.

Budgets are decreasing

The report also underscores the inefficiency of resource allocation, as it reveals that a quarter of HR budgets have decreased this year, yet organisations continue to invest in a plethora of ineffective tools that fail to engage many workers.

Remote workers appear to be particularly resistant to adopting these technologies, with 25 percent choosing not to engage with them at all.

The repercussions of subpar technologies and workflow congestion are significant, with 48 percent of remote workers expressing frustration in their roles due to these factors. A quarter of remote workers believe that poor and cumbersome technologies reflect a lack of innovation within the company. Alarmingly, 9 percent of remote workers have contemplated quitting their jobs as a result of these challenges. The figures rise to 15 percent for hybrid workers and 13 percent for office-based employees.

The study also refers to research by Gartner, which suggests that a seamless HR experience can positively impact employee performance by 11 percent. The consequences of inefficient HR tech tools are not limited to frustration; over 45 percent of workers report losing between 16 to 30 minutes per week, equivalent to approximately 25.5 working hours annually, due to workflow inefficiencies.

Innovative HR strategies are needed to have an impact on technology

Ivan Harding, CEO and co-founder of Applaud, commented on the findings, emphasising the need for innovative HR strategies that prioritise user experience, particularly for remote workers. Harding stated, “A culture of innovation is critical for recruiting and retaining top talent. The burden of poor technology disproportionately affecting remote workers contradicts the principles of innovative HR. The experience gap between remote, hybrid, and office workers is unacceptable. Businesses must ensure seamless experiences that enhance work life, rather than cause unnecessary frustration.”

The study also unveiled that 20 percent of UK workers express a preference for remote work. Presently, fully remote working models remain less popular among employers, with only 6 percent of respondents working exclusively from home. Instead, a balanced distribution of hybrid and office-based workers is observed, with 45 percent working on-site and the remaining 50 percent embracing a hybrid approach.

Harding further added, “Remote work is favoured by employees, and employers who implement it effectively can reap substantial rewards. However, the lack of equal experience across the workforce is evident. This issue can be readily addressed by adopting HR tech strategies that prioritise frictionless, single-platform experiences as the standard.”

As remote work continues to be a significant aspect of modern work environments, the research underscores the urgency for organisations to reevaluate their technology tools and adopt solutions that enhance productivity and job satisfaction, regardless of the working model.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.