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How efficiently Hungarian white-collar workers are working

We need to be prepared for hybrid working in the longer term: more than a third of Hungarian intellectual workers spend at least one or two days working from home, according to Hungary's first national representative productivity survey. A quarter of those surveyed expect that when they go to the corporate IT helpdesk, they will not understand each other because they speak a different language. The majority do not use a common knowledge repository or collaboration tool for their work, and most use Excel to record and delegate tasks instead of dedicated applications. The Productivity Index, based on the research, provides a quantitative measure of how efficiently Hungarian white-collar workers work.

Miért baj, hogy még mindig Excelben hegesztjük a feladatlistát?-

META-INF and NRC's online nationwide survey investigated how effective Hungarian intellectual workers are and what productivity tools their companies provide them with to meet the challenges of teleworking, knowledge sharing and customer service.

Each man for himself: collaboration is weak

The complexity of everyday business processes and projects requires collaboration across teams and divisions. Companies that fail to deliver this effectively are at a competitive disadvantage, and lower productivity generates unnecessary costs.

In general, it is true that the larger the company, the more common the use of collaboration platforms. These are tools that enable team members to work together and share information and knowledge, whether it's editing a document together or completing a complex project.

40% of those surveyed use some kind of tool for this purpose at work, but interestingly, people working alone in intellectual jobs use them more (33%) than small businesses with 2 to 50 people (26%).The uptake of these tools is significantly lower in health, education, public administration, legal professions and food and beverage, while it is higher in science, technology, culture, infrastructure and energy.

The tool is most often used for sharing work-related content and documents (74% agree or strongly agree with this statement) and for general internal communication (67%), least often for modelling and automation of company processes (39%).

Hybrid working seems to be with us for the long haul:35% of survey respondents work at home at least 1-2 days a week. "Collaboration tools take on a special significance in the world of hybrid working. They are essential not only for managing the team, but also for giving colleagues working from home the positive feedback that motivates them," said Tibor Hegyi, co-CEO of META-INF.

No home for collective knowledge and still welding to-do lists in Excel

Only 34 percent of respondents use some kind of online knowledge repository at work to manage and edit information within their organization, and 15 percent of respondents could not even answer the question about the existence of a knowledge repository.

About half (49%) of those who do not use a knowledge repository believe they can do their job without one, while a third say they could work more efficiently with one.

"We were surprised by this result. But the knowledge of a lone genius is no longer enough to make a company stand out. Teamwork and a wide range of competencies working together are the key to success. Knowledge-sharing tools play an important role in unleashing the collective knowledge of the organisation" - said Tibor Hegyi.

Task management systems that can be used to delegate and track tasks to other colleagues help avoid duplication (silos) and replace time-consuming administration with automation. Around half of those surveyed (48%) work in a place where they use some kind of software, system or platform for this purpose - while 44% use Excel, which is not specifically designed for this purpose.

The education sector is lagging behind (23%), but the healthcare and public administration sectors are also lagging behind in terms of the uptake of task management tools, even though a large majority of respondents (83%) believe that these systems make work more efficient. Where they do not use such tools, 73% hand tasks over by email.

"For me, the fact that we use spreadsheets to solve everything we can is a reflection of the inexhaustible creativity of the Hungarian soul. Today, however, we no longer have to resort to kitchen tinkering if we want to follow the progress of a task or project in a transparent way. That's what online task management systems were invented for," he added.

We don't understand each other's language: translation difficulties between IT and other departments

The IT helpdesk - whether it's there to solve problems for customers or colleagues - is a neuralgic point for organisations. More than a quarter of those surveyed are prepared that if they go to corporate IT, they will not be able to follow up on their issue and it will not be resolved (26-29%). A similar proportion (24%) said they often feel they cannot understand their help desk colleagues - it is as if they simply speak a different language. This is reciprocal: helpdesk staff also often find that they do not speak the same language as the other staff (15%), and perhaps more seriously, they do not speak the same language as the customers who ask them for help (17%).

"Customer support - whether for internal or external customers - is not a superfluous cost, but a strategic priority for companies striving for long-term business success," said Attila Gáspár, co-CEO of META-INF. - The satisfaction of inner customers, i.e. colleagues, is crucial in boosting employee motivation and thus increasing corporate productivity. And external customer satisfaction contributes to successful operations and long-term growth by spreading a good reputation, in addition to strengthening engagement."

Results of the research can be used to determine the productivity index of intellectual workers, which shows that of the four productivity-enhancing tools -

  • collaboration platforms,

  • knowledge-sharing systems,

  • task management and

  • IT software supporting the helpdesk function

- how many people use at least three. The Productivity Index is 21 percent according to the 2024 survey.

As part of the Great Productivity Survey, 1,000 white-collar workers were asked how productive they perceive their own work and workplace to be


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