16 May 2017
Unreliable mobile coverage in the workplace is increasing employee stress levels, hurting productivity, and driving a wedge between employees and employers, claims new research.
According to a survey of 994 UK office workers conducted by Zinwave, 69 per cent complained that they either “frequently” or “sometimes” had problems with poor mobile coverage in the workplace. The respondents included those who work in a variety of commercial premises, such as urban offices, shopping centres, industrial facilities and medical buildings.
The study revealed that workers aged 18-34 are 45 per cent more likely to complain of “frequent” problems than those 35 and older.
Of those who complained, just over a quarter said the problem increased their stress levels, 18 per cent said it decreased their productivity, and 15 per cent said it made their company “look bad” to those on the other end of the phone. More than 27 per cent said that they were sometimes forced to make calls outside because of poor in-building coverage.
Staff in healthcare facilities, such as hospitals and medical offices, had the most complaints, with 82 per cent having bad experiences and more than 35 per cent describing these as “frequent.” This was followed by employees in retail facilities, such as shopping centres where 76 per cent complained of bad experiences and 30 per cent described these as “frequent.”
Zinwave also notes who employees blame for their mobile troubles. While 45 per cent point the finger at their operator, an equal percentage expressed frustration with their employer and/or the owner of the building where they work.
“Mobile networks were originally designed for outdoor use, and most commercial buildings have not been constructed with mobile coverage in mind,” says Zinwave CEO Scott Willis. “Today, an estimated 80 per cent of cellphone calls take place indoors. In the workplace, this creates an enormous disconnect between employee expectations and what most employers are able to deliver. Dropped calls and interrupted data connections are hurting productivity and morale.”