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You won’t believe how much work time is wasted on paper jams… but this tax time could solve everything

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Think a ton of time is wasted at the office water cooler? How about time squandered in dull meetings?

You might be surprised to learn that those activities pale in comparison to the amount of time spent dealing with age-old office troubles like paper jams, printer failures and copier crap-outs.

If you’ve ever found yourself pounding your fists on the top of your photocopier day after day, you may find some small comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Not by any stretch.

According to a recent survey, the average worker spends two weeks out of each year wrestling with tech issues. That’s right – each worker. Now think about how many people work in your office. Wowza!

And, what’s more, all these technical debacles amount to more than simply wasted time.

Temperamental office equipment is causing massive amounts of stress in the workplace, on top of wasting time. One in four surveyed say they have felt like smashing a computer or laptop screen on occasion, and around one in ten say they have cried due to lost documents or computer crashes.

The problem is amplified by the use of totally antiquated technologies.  Over two thirds (77 per cent) of Australian organisations still use a fax. What is this, the Stone Age?

All hail modern tech

Greg Hirsch, Dick Smith’s Office Merchandise Manager stresses that technology such as laptops, printers and hard drives should be updated at least every two years. He said, “People are placing more and more demands on technology. For example, we’re more likely to use tablets for work and personal use, this means we’re outgrowing our devices at a faster rate than we’re replacing them.”

“There is also a lack of understanding on how best use technological devices. For example, many people put pressure on their hardware to store data, when a more efficient ‘cloud’ storage system will get better results and, prevent computer crashes and delays,” Hirsch concluded.

The solution – right under our noses

The solution to the problem of outdated tech is, well, new tech – so the survey says. The majority of office workers surveyed (88 per cent) believe investing in new technology will save their time and ultimately, increase productivity in the workplace.

Unfortunately, as many of us can no doubt attest, employers are less likely to take action with half (52 per cent) claiming their boss is too stingy to invest in new equipment, and four in ten believing their organisation will delay upgrading the technology if it still works.

Taxation expert and author, Adrian Raftery, believes employers could take advantage of small business tax concessions by investing in new technology as a way of keeping offices busy.

“With 30 June just around the corner, small businesses can get the ATO to subsidise these improvements by buying new equipment up to $6,500 and get an immediate tax write-off for the full amount this year,” said Raftery, principal of Mr Taxman.

Raftery suggests small business owners could re-fit their office with new, functioning equipment by writing off new business assets, rather than depreciating them over several years under the old tax rules.

“The ($6,500) concession is new to small businesses this year. Purchases that include computers, monitors, security systems and printers are all acceptable for the concession. There is no limit to the number of assets that can be purchased,” Raftery concluded.

Hey, boss, can we get an upgrade?

But, as we’ve all likely experienced, bosses can be stuck in their ways- thereby forfeiting the potential incentive to go ahead and upgrade all that out-of-date tech permeating offices around the country.

Is your office is still rocking beige boxes running Win 98 SE, or maybe some of those blueberry iMacs? It might be time to subtly mention the new asset write off to the powers that be.

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