New research from Mitel has found that nearly half (48%) of all UK employees admit to using a mobile phone while sitting at their desk, a habit which represents a significant cost to their employers.
Despite the fact that calls made from a mobile typically cost double those made on a landline, employers are being slow to clamp down on staff using mobile phones from within the office. If they could persuade employees to avoid just one five minute mobile call a day it could save UK industry around £2.5 billion per year.
Getting to the root of why people shun desk phones, the majority of managers surveyed cited convenience, with 55 percent saying it was because the device contains all their contact numbers. Another feature of the mobile that makes it so popular is the ability to conduct calls in private, with 41 percent giving the excuse of privacy as the reason for using their mobile when in the office.
Graham Bevington, UK managing director at Mitel, said: “With more and more businesses handing out mobiles to their employees, the research identifies a major lack of control over their usage. This is bad news for businesses struggling to curb their mobile phone costs. More often than not people are contacting colleagues whose numbers are easily to hand on their mobile when they could dial an office extension number for free. Organisations should think about supplying employees with a single number that follows them regardless of location or device. Costs can be reduced by increasing the proportion of calls made to a landline rather than a mobile and it could be a major boost to productivity by increasing availability and avoiding voicemail ping pong.”
Jim Goodlett, CTO at Morris Technology, said: “Because we have staff who are constantly on the go meeting the pressures of customers’ needs and project deadlines, we needed an application that could consolidate the ways in which we make effective contact without the frustration of calling multiple phones. We have implemented the Mitel Mobile Extension solution that automatically diverts a call from an employee’s desk phone to wherever they are – be it on their mobile phone while they are out, or to another hot desk phone in the building. If they are reached on their mobile phone, they can effortlessly transfer the call back to their landline phone when they get to their desk, giving them greater audio clarity and access to more features with their Mitel IP phones, while at the same time saving the company money on our communication costs.”
The technology evolution that led to people having a plethora of different contact numbers is now coming full circle with mobile extension solutions allowing ‘follow-me’ call routing. This latest breed of solutions are designed with the mobile worker in mind and built on IP communications. Products, such as the Mitel Mobile Extension, enable users to have one number and one voicemail. When someone calls that number their desk, mobile and teleworker phones ring simultaneously. It is also possible to transfer a mobile call to a landline mid-conversation and vice versa, thus cutting out any unnecessary mobile calls.