30 May 2016

'Pointless' admin costs NZ companies billions

12:09 pm on 30 May 2016

New Zealand companies are throwing away billions of dollars a year on pointless, unproductive and unnecessary administration, a study shows.

Office full of documents

Photo: 123RF

The survey, done by management software company Kronos, estimated internal red tape is costing businesses in New Zealand and Australia $61 billion a year.

It said on average each employee was wasting three hours a week on unnecessary administration and other work, which was worth about $4200 each person a year.

The managing director of Kronos for New Zealand, Australia and South East Asia, Peter Harte, said businesses too easily become wedded to traditional systems and failed to review their processes.

"Businesses in New Zealand are just not responding to putting technology to use to make life less complex."

He said companies should be looking to use cloud based systems to organise such tasks as records and rosters.

Two sectors that stood out in the survey for unproductive and wasteful activities were retail and nursing, Mr Harte said.

However, the issue is one for management, and the survey showed some surprising attitudes.

"What is astounding is that 52 percent of HR (human resources) leaders didn't view people as one of their top three assets.

"If you've got a better engaged workforce you usually have a better customer experience and more satisfied staff."

More than three-quarters of those surveyed found it hard to get the daily list of tasks done and fewer than a third felt their businesses were engaged with staff and customers, Mr Harte said.