Mounting admin loads mean a shocking 59% of social workers spend less than 3 hours per day with clients, claims a new report.
In a poll of professionals in this area, some 61% said they were dissatisfied with the amount of time in their working day they could actually spend with clients - while 75% said they were struggling to meet the demands of their daily case loads, with not enough staff support and little or no technology.
Perhaps unsurprisingly this is having an effect on overall morale and work/life balance, according to the study, Mobile Working: ‘The Missing Link In the Future of Social Care Delivery,' sponsored by Northern Irish mobile working tech firm Total Mobile.
Researchers did find that 60% of respondents said that their organisations had made some sort of attempt to introduce mobile working, but only 10% said it had made any significant different to their workload.
This could be down to the fact that a mere 3% of organisations had actually deployed an independent, purpose-built mobile working app, claims the report, which it says could be a better way to work than relying solely on mobile devices that can often be out of signal or lack easy ways for staff to access their back office systems.
"It is shocking to find that out of an 8 hour working day, many social workers could only find 3 hours to spend with patients," commented Colin Reid, Chief Executive, TotalMobile.
"Organisations can obviously see the benefits of effective mobile working, but have been unable to deploy the correct strategy to make it work - and as service demands increase, radical changes are needed to put better work processes in place," he added.
In a worrying harbinger of more trouble ahead, the study concludes with the finding that no less 92% of respondent said that there is no way they will be able work in the same way 5 years from now.
"It is paramount that management put a workable mobile working strategy in place now - because if they don't, we will see social care services crumble as frontline workers struggle to cope," Reid warned.
(c) 24n.biz 2015