Study: Employees using device software updates as excuse to skip work calls, online meetings


A study has revealed that one in five employees pretended that a work device is installing an update just to avoid attending work calls or virtual meetings.

According to Kaspersky, 21% of employees surveyed revealed that they have used device updates as an excuse to miss work meetings while 27% admitted that they were installing updates just to procrastinate at work.

It also believed that employees are finding opportunities to avoid meetings due to video call fatigue, as virtual meetings became a part of the remote work or working from home (WFH) routine for some during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The cybersecurity company said the excuse is plausible as other respondents shared that they have faced difficulties at work after installing updates, with 37% saying they have lost unsaved work or data from their devices.

It added that 65% of employees wanted updates for work devices to take place outside of work hours in order to be able to maintain productivity.

Kaspersky said it commissioned an independent market research agency with an online survey involving more than 15,000 respondents from countries like China, India, the US and Australia. All respondents have a PC, smartphone or tablet for either work or personal use.

The study aims to explore how often people install updates for their devices and explore the reasoning behind some delays. The survey also revealed that 30% said they would delay an update as they are busy with work and 26% shared that they don’t want to stop using the device while the update is happening. Only 6% said they never delay installing updates.

The company’s IT service and asset group manager Egor Kharchenko explained that after an update is completed, a restart is required to apply the update to the system. However, some people choose to delay this step as they can’t afford to put a pause on work.

“As we can see, some people either miss such notifications or do not want to do this. Therefore, the required restart may happen at the most inconvenient moment – right before an important call or when they are writing a long email,” he said in a statement.

Kaspersky recommended a number of steps to help make updates convenient for employees, such as having the IT department plan updates closer to the end of the workday and to divide users into groups to minimise downtime for workers.

It also suggested advising staff to use the AutoSave function to prevent the loss of unsaved work.

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