What Needs an Upgrade

Is outdated tech costing your business money or hurting workers' health? We surveyed over 1,000 Americans about their workplace equipment to find out how much time and money are lost to old technology and which items would make their jobs easier. Read on to find out which office tools you may want to consider replacing and why.

Asking for Upgrades

First, we asked workers about the outdated tech in their workplace. Which equipment needs an upgrade, and what's the likelihood of that happening?

Survey: Average age of tech in the workplace

Overall, workplace technology was the most outdated in the retail industry. But fax machines, telephones, and invoicing systems were the oldest tech across all workplaces we studied. Respondents reported that these things were, on average, 8.6 to 9.6 years old. And while more than half of workers (59%) said their tech is so outdated because it still works, more than 1 in 4 said it was because their company is cheap.

But that hasn't stopped them from asking for upgrades. Of the 18% of employees who have complained about the outdated tech in their office, 33% got what they asked for, but 30% received no response. Another 20% said their employers told them they would look into it and then didn't.

Consequences of Old Tech

Outdated office equipment can slow a company's work and cost money. Let's see how it affects time, labor, and even out-of-pocket expenses for employees.

Survey: Hidden costs of outdated tech

On average, employees across all industries have lost more than 18 minutes per day dealing with outdated workplace tech. Finance industry workers reported losing the most time (just shy of 24 minutes per day), which is interesting since the first part of our study revealed that they also have the newest workplace tech.

Finance professionals said most of their equipment was only about four years old. However, that may not be new enough in an industry where automation is more important than ever, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic set a new precedent for Americans' use of online transactions.

One financing area that's easy to automate is invoicing. We found that 38% of businesses still write their invoices by hand, but they could save a lot of time and effort by processing them online and using invoice templates. Business owners have spent an average of $57 a month on invoicing tools, but when you consider the resulting workload reduction, it's money well spent.

Businesses may also consider how outdated tech impacts their workers financially. To get the tools necessary to do their jobs, 16% of the in-office workers we surveyed have had to pay out-of-pocket for their own equipment at least once, spending an average of $558.

Survey: How much employees spent on office tech

Outdated workplace tech had more of a financial impact on Gen X than other generations. On average, they've spent more of their own money on in-office ($589) and home office tech ($603) than other generations, followed by Gen Zers and millennials. But millennials have spent the most time each day dealing with issues related to old technology at work: an average of more than 19 minutes.

Home Office Tech

Working from home has its perks, but remote workers must often foot the bill for their home office equipment. Which items are they typically expected to shell out for themselves, and which ones would they most like to upgrade?

Survey: How much remote employees spent on tech

Remote workers' home offices had an average price tag of $549. And while most of them have had to buy their own mouse (67%) and computer (60%), half would like to upgrade their desk chair (50%). That might be a wise choice, considering that having the right chair is among the top ways to make a home office more ergonomic. The top three ergonomic office items respondents said would make their job easier are:

Improving Workplace Tech

Retail workplaces might have the oldest tech, but finance professionals and millennials seem to lose the most time in the workday to outdated equipment. Although these items may "work fine", businesses could save valuable time and labor by upgrading things like fax machines, phones, and invoicing systems. But remote workers could use a few upgrades, too, and not just to save time. Certain items, like an extra monitor or ergonomic chair, can also improve their health.

About Skynova, Inc.

Office tech can be pricey to upgrade. Luckily, Skynova's invoice templates and automation tools can save you time and money while streamlining your business's finance tasks.


Skynova surveyed 1,009 Americans about their work technology. Of these respondents, 368 worked in-office full-time, 293 worked hybrid, and 348 were remote full-time. In terms of industry, 205 worked in the information and technology industry, 116 worked in education, 115 in retail, 109 in health care, 57 in hospitality/food and beverage, 53 in government, 32 in finance, 23 in manufacturing, and 209 worked in various other industries. Only approved responses were included in the data, and only full-time employees were surveyed. Additionally, some data was gathered from another survey of 435 business owners we recently conducted.

Fair Use Statement

If you found our tips about workplace tech upgrades useful, we encourage you to share these findings for any non-commercial purpose. We just ask that you include a link to this study when you do.