Business Owners Prefer Sick Employees to Computer Problems [Infographic]

sick employees

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A recent survey has found that most small business owners would rather deal with sick employees calling off on Mondays than a laptop or some other device that’s on the blink.

Brother International Corp.  just released the results of its annual Small Business Survey and found that 75 percent of small business owners would rather deal with the absence of an employee than a technology issue.  Yes, that’s right: small business owners apparently believe that a down computer disrupts the business more than a down employee.

Another finding:  business owners were sure that a malfunctioning computer or any other of the myriad tech devices had cost them a business opportunity or caused them to miss a deadline, the study notes.

More technology may not be the answer — it may be part of the problem.  As more devices are added, business owners have become swamped dealing with their specific technological issues. Brother notes that 66 percent of small business owners described themselves as “overwhelmed” by the amount of technology and almost all (86 percent) said that production at their business has slowed in the past year because of a technology malfunction.

“The results emphasize the importance of delivering reliable and easy-to-use products to promote a productive working environment,” Brother Marketing VP John Wandishin said.

While tech hardware continues to hamper business production, many small business owners said they weren’t entirely familiar with cloud computing and 42 percent of Brother’s study participants said they weren’t using any form of it. Just 28 percent said they “completely understand the concept of cloud computing.”

More than half of small business owners are spending more money on technology, too. Brother’s study found that 51 percent responding to its email survey said they make technology investments in their company a top priority, more than machinery or facilities spending.

Read the survey results here (PDF). The survey polled 500 U.S. business owners at companies with 100 or fewer employees between February 21st and March 4th, 2013. Brother is based in Japan, but has had a presence for over half a century in the U.S.   (Brother is a recent sponsor of BizSugar, owned by Small Business Trends.)

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Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and the Head of Content Partnerships. A journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional and online media, he is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press, covering his hometown.

3 Reactions
  1. This is a interesting infographic and stats. Thanks for sharing with us.


  2. I totally agree the survery result. Because sick emplyees I still can communicate with him or her.