Despite living in a mobile-first world, employees across the UK say they can’t do enough basic HR admin tasks on mobile devices and many still do them offline. On average, only 12% of HR admin tasks are possible on mobile devices only and 49% is still completed offline.  These are the results of a new survey from leading provider of global payroll and HR services, SD Worx, which looks into the extent of the digitisation of the workplace.

The report also found that just 13% of UK employees submit expenses only on mobile, while just under half of those surveyed (40%) are still submitting expenses non-electronically. Requesting leave is the most popular administrative task to be completed digitally, with 14% doing so by mobile only, a further 13% completing the job through both fixed and mobile devices and 43% by fixed devices only.  Despite mobile only scoring low, it’s promising to see that software use is higher for tasks that are applicable to all employees.

Considering that the average person checks their phone about 50 times a day, mobile options would be expected to be more ingrained in the work environment. Not being able to do things digitally can have a huge impact on an organisation and its people.  Employees will spend too long on HR admin tasks, preventing them from completing more valuable work and ultimately having a negative impact on employee engagement.

Employees want to do more digitally

What people have the option to do digitally in terms of HR admin differs greatly depending on location. For example, 59% of those surveyed in the UK can currently submit expenses online, whereas in Germany only 33% can. When it comes to requesting and arranging business travel, 55% of employees in the UK are able to do it digitally, compared to only 36% in Belgium.

Germany ranks considerably lower out of the countries surveyed across nearly all the categories, suggesting that there is some way to go in terms of digitally transforming the workplace. The UK and The Netherlands consistently come out on top across the activities that employees can currently do digitally, but there is still room for improvement.

UK scored high for employees wanting digital HR tasks

Despite employees across all countries being keen in general to work digitally, the opportunity to grow the area is more significant in certain countries. For example, 65% of employees in the UK would like to request a change in working time (such as part-time, parental leave) digitally, whereas that’s only important to 44% of those surveyed in Germany. In fact, employees in Germany appear to be the least concerned out of the six countries.

The UK generally had the highest number of respondents wanting the ability to do more tasks digitally at work. This would suggest that the more access people already have to carry out work electronically, the more they want to see these options increase in the workplace. Employers in the UK have a significant opportunity to lead Europe when it comes to workplace tech.

Brenda Morris, MD of SD Worx UKI comments: “Nearly all areas of our lives have been changed by technology. While it’s been the case in our personal lives for some time now, in some instances it’s been slow to take hold in the workplace. As seen in this report, employees want to be able to carry out basic HR admin on mobile but they are not always given the opportunity to do so. In order to keep employees engaged and productive, it is vital for employers to listen to these concerns and adapt to this new way of working.”