Slow-loading PCs waste 130 hours per year, cause bad moods and aggression

8 Oct 2013

Image via rui vale sousa/Shutterstock

Computer users in the UK are on average losing about 5.5 days per year to slow-loading PCs and this ‘digital downtime’ has become one of the top 7 most stressful everyday experiences, a survey of computer users suggests.

The survey, commissioned by computer storage company SanDisk, questioned 8,001 desktop and laptop users around the world. Those in Italy seem to have the slowest PCs, waiting on average 6.8 days per year for them to load, while Americans have the lowest downtime average of 4.9 days per year.

Taking it out on the machines

UK users are said to have lost more than 130 hours of their working year waiting, on average, up to 12 minutes for software to load. Even more concerning is that 17pc of those surveyed in the UK admitted to relieving their frustration with physicality, sometimes stamping on or throwing the offending device. German users were most likely to react with aggression, while those in the US and China were least likely to lash out.

The most common cause of these delays in the UK was waiting for files to upload or download followed by slow-loading applications, and little time was wasted waiting for PCs to start up. Close to one-third (30pc) claimed this time spent waiting would put them in a bad mood for the rest of the day, while 29pc said they had lost sleep over it.

Unsurprisingly, this vexing occurrence has now made it into the top 7 most stressful everyday experiences, though it still ranks below being put on hold when on the telephone, going to a medical appointment or waiting for deliveries, which made up the top 3.

Angry computer user image by rui vale sousa via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.