Employees in the United Kingdom are struggling with a major IT skills gap, according to a new study from STL Training. In a survey of 2,000 office workers in the United Kingdom, STL found the average worker is spending more than half an hour every day struggling to figure out how to work their tech and IT systems.

Given the average office worker salary in the UK, employers are losing £1,600 per year for every employee due to this IT skills gap – an astonishing £16 billion per year across the UK economy.

Half of office-based employees admitted to being unable to fully understand common tools like Excel, Word and PowerPoint, and more than a third believe their lack of IT skills prevent them from doing their job effectively.

Common sources of frustration are spreadsheets and presentations, with creating formulas in Microsoft Excel the most common reason for employees struggling. Despite this, many workers are reluctant to turn to their IT departments for help.

42% of those surveyed said they were too embarrassed to ask their IT department for assistance, instead opting to ask their colleagues for help. In an average week, co-workers field 10 requests for help on basic tech issues, with the IT department receiving just 2.

For some employees, even asking fellow workers was considered embarrassing. More than half admitted to looking online for the answer before turning to colleagues, and one in ten even resorted to calling friends or family first.

The survey also found that employees are aware of this skills gap, with one third of respondents blaming their employer for not offering enough support in using computer applications. 56% felt they would benefit from proper training in Microsoft Office, and 47% said receiving training would improve their motivation levels at work.