1 in 5 workers make device updates an excuse for missed call

One-fifth (21%) of employees confirmed that they have pretended their devices were installing updates so they would not have to attend a call or meeting, according to a new study commissioned by Kaspersky.

Findings show that this excuse is plausible because software updates can disrupt workdays, with one-third (35%) of employees saying they have been late to a call because of updates. 

Savanta conducted last April for Kaspersky an online survey of 15,000 respondents in 15 markets across the globe, including China, India and Australia. All respondents used a PC, smartphone and/or tablet for either their personal or work lives.

Colleagues of those who use the ruse may believe the deception, as they could relate to the experience of needing to update a device themselves. 

In addition to missed appointments, 37% of employees have lost part of their unsaved work or data when their PC or laptop restarted after installing updates.

Some employees see this device downtime as an opportunity to procrastinate, with 27% of respondents admitting that they have installed updates to deliberately waste time at work. Still, employees mostly don’t like it when their work is interrupted, as 65% wish updates happened outside of work hours to maintain their productivity.

“Typically, updates are downloaded during working hours in silent mode and do not affect a business. However, to apply them to the system, a restart is required. Of course, some business matters can’t be postponed, so usually a user can restart within a certain timeframe. As we can see, 

“Some people either miss such notifications (to restart their devices to apply the updates) or do not want to do this,” said Egor Kharchenko, IT service and asset group manager at Kaspersky. “Therefore, the required restart may happen at the most inconvenient moment – right before an important call or when they are writing a long email.”

To make updates convenient for employees and IT administrators, Kaspersky recommends IT departments do the following.

First, plan updates closer to the end of the workday, when devices are still on and can download required updates, but employees’ activity is typically lower.

Second, use wake-on-LAN if possible. This technology allows workstations to be turned on through the network, so updates can be downloaded outside of working hours.

Third, divide users into several groups, including a test one. Update them one by one, so the IT department can help everyone in a timely manner if something goes wrong.

Fourth, inform the staff about the AutoSave function available in some office productivity software — it will automatically save all their changes.

And fifth, install an endpoint protection solution with patch management features. Also, behavior detection and exploit prevention technologies don’t allow malefactors to leverage unpatched security issues.