Research from, a provider of cloud software for conversational commerce, has revealed that on average, managers are losing seven working days each year answering general operational or administrative questions. In line with this, a quarter (24 per cent) are suffering with increased stress due to the additional pressures that come with dealing with general employee queries.

The research also found that one third (32 per cent) of UK managers work outside of office hours to complete tasks they aren’t getting to during the day due to dealing with general employee queries, and 40 per cent feel that current internal systems for handling general operational tasks need to be improved. Comparatively, 85 per cent of employees surveyed feel that information on general procedures is not easily accessible.

When questioned on how this is impacting their day-to-day work, over a quarter (26 per cent) of managers feel that onboarding new employees takes up too much time, while 30 per cent of managers feel that they do not have enough time to answer questions from new recruits. Over a third (35 per cent) have less time to focus on critical tasks due to dealing with general queries. From the employee perspective, just over a fifth (21 per cent) questioned think that managers are too busy to respond to their general questions, making it more time consuming for them to get an answer to even simple questions. Just under a quarter (24 per cent) of employees feel that there is a lack of clarity on where to seek information on workplace procedures.

When it comes to the questions managers find themselves having to answer, over a third (34 per cent) state that ‘how do I book holiday?’ is the most frequently asked, while 31 per cent believe it’s a question related to how expenses are filed. Three years on from the first lockdown, 28 per cent of managers find themselves frequently giving employees information on the flexible working policy.

The study highlights that technology is underused within internal business communications, with 44 per cent of employees accessing general information via the HR team and a similar proportion (43 per cent) seeking answers from their line managers. Just 19 per cent of employees access information via internal chatbot technology, despite a quarter (25 per cent) of managers thinking a chatbot would be a useful way to onboard new employees. From the employee perspective, 34 per cent believe integrating an internal chatbot would help them find answers without having to rely on others.

The ongoing productivity crisis is causing problems for businesses across the UK – and managers are currently being placed under unnecessary stress because of outdated and inefficient internal processes, said James Matthews, Country Manager, UK & Ireland at “Not only does this have a negative impact on their mental health and wellbeing, but clunky processes make working life more frustrating for all employees and have an adverse effect on productivity and job satisfaction.

“Technology and AI has huge potential to streamline internal communication and empower both employees and employers via internal chatbots,” he added. “For employees it means access to general operational and administrative information when they need it, while managers aren’t being distracted from completing more critical tasks. Despite this – and the potential it offers in supporting business growth – the majority of companies are yet to tap into this technology.”

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