A fifth of British workers believe the way their own business runs its communications is preventing them from carrying out their job properly, according to a new survey by Vodafone UK. Among workers in organisations who operate ‘in the field’ or have direct contact with customers, the feeling that they are being held back by a lack of appropriate communications tools is even more acute.
The survey found that a smartphone is the most desirable communications tool for British workers, with 31% saying it would enable them to carry out their job more effectively. Giving employees the ability to work wherever they need to, rather than being tied to a desk, also helps increase productivity, the survey found.
“A total and unified communications approach that takes into account the latest communications tools, technology and secure access to systems and information will enable employees to communicate in the way that best suits them and the job that they do – regardless of where they are based or if they are using a mobile or a fixed line,” said Jon Rutherford, Head of Large Business Marketing at Vodafone UK.
The latest Vodafone UK research, which draws on the experiences of staff across a range of British businesses, shows that 1 in 5 employees feel the communications set-up in their organisation could be improved to help them be more efficient. That increases to 26% among field sales reps and 28% among customer services representatives.
Of the workers questioned, 37% said they have no access to flexible communication tools, yet more than 40% of British employees rarely or never work from a desk in an office. Even among workers who do have a desk in an office, a surprising 23% do not spend most of their time sat at it.
The results of the latest Vodafone UK research come as a report from IDC is available today which argues that organisations should take ‘an individual approach to communications’. By putting the needs of the employee at the heart of their communications strategy, organisations can increase productivity by strengthening employee collaboration and customer interaction. Giving access to better communications technology will also help organisations to attract the best talent and improve staff retention, according to the IDC report.
The IDC research suggests that a sensible approach is to adopt a ‘total communications solution’ taking the focus away from the exact whereabouts of an individual employee and instead allowing them to make their own decisions on what devices and communication tools will help them do their job.
Security remains a key concern for employers, the IDC report adds, but by setting a few simple ground rules when introducing new ways of communicating, employees can still be given the freedom they need without putting the future of their organisation in jeopardy.
“Giving employees the power to choose for themselves which tools they want to adopt is a progressive step but by doing so businesses will reap the benefits of an agile, efficient and collaborative workforce,” according to Jon Rutherford.