Half of UK’s managing directors unaware of their own downtime issues

According to research by IT and telecoms firm, Daisy Group, 47 per cent of business managers believe that their business never or rarely falls victim to poor connectivity, while a quarter admit to ignoring the issue altogether.

In reality, companies experience an average of 45 minutes of downtime each week- equating to over £500 per employee, per year, in lost productivity, the equivalent of a whole working week.

When asked, workers said that the average period of downtime lasts for 15 minutes, but some even said they have been without the internet at work for more than an hour at a time.

Graham Harris, product director at Daisy Group, said: “Unfortunately, many businesses often believe that ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to connectivity and are often lured into a deal based on price alone.

“If your internet connection is not built with your users and business activities in mind, then it is likely to struggle with the demands made of it, potentially resulting in lost productivity and sales, and leading to poor customer service.”

As part of the study, business managers were also asked how often they should be reviewing their connectivity provision. One in eight said they had no idea, 17 per cent said only when the contract is due for renewal, and one in six said only when staff start complaining.

The research was conducted to assess awareness amongst key decision-makers for the government-backed scheme, SuperFast Britain, which provides connectivity funding of up to £3,000 to eligible firms and discovered that 42 per cent were completely unaware of the initiative.

The study also looked into how employees fill the time during internet outages and found that two thirds say they have allowed themselves to be distracted by personal business during instances of downtime, sometimes for more than half an hour.

Nearly half say they use downtime as an excuse to take an extra coffee break, a quarter spend the time on their smartphone to check Facebook, nine per cent look for a new job, and seven per cent even indulge in a spot of retail therapy. Just 30 per cent said they take the opportunity to swot up on some work-related reading.

Graham Harris said: “Unlike a gas or electricity supply, you cannot simply install a business’ internet connection and forget about it. Businesses should be reviewing their connectivity in line with business change and growth to ensure that their staff, and subsequently the business’ growth, aren’t being hampered by slow internet speeds and an unreliable service.”