How poor broadband is limiting UK companies
Businesses are increasingly reliant on the internet in the modern age, but poor broadband connections could be damaging productivity in a dramatic way.
According to research from business communications firm Daisy Group, slow internet connections are resulting in lost productivity that is costing the UK economy £11 billion.
This is because many people are simply unable to work when their internet connection drops out, with the average worker not capable of working for 44 minutes every week.
Some 7% of workers said that their internet connection stops more than ten times in any seven day period, leaving them with little they can do.
Workers even suggested that their home internet connections were quicker than those in their workplace – occurring in 39% of instances.
The government is working to roll out fibre broadband across the UK while offering grants to subsidise the costs of improving a connection.
Despite this, the study suggests many businesses are using basic ADSL connections that are better suited to residential internet users.
The high bandwidth demands of software and work applications then cause these internet connections to slow, causing productivity to drop.
This drop in work levels can be a financial burden for some companies, especially smaller firms and start-ups who can ill-afford such losses.
Business turnaround measures could be introduced in such instances to streamline a business and free up funds for an internet upgrade.
Such measures can be financially beneficial to the business and reduce the likelihood of a firm finding itself in financial difficulty in the future.
When the internet connection did drop off for businesses, 60% of those surveyed said they turned their attention to non-related work activities, including shopping and checking social media on their smartphones.
Some 9% of people even said they hunt for other jobs on their phones in that time, a worrying factor for businesses trying to retain their staff.
It is estimated the average worker loses 38 hours of productivity a year as a result of poor internet connections – equating to nearly £500 per employee.
That figure is calculated using the UK’s average wage of £13 per hour and the fact that 72% of the UK’s workforce of 30 million uses the internet in their job roles.
By Phil Smith