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ISP Claims 15 Million UK Workers Suffer Emotionally Due to Internet Faults

Monday, September 2nd, 2019 (10:34 am) - Score 1,344

A new study of 500 UK based organisations, which was conducted by business broadband ISP Beaming, has suggested that more than 15 million employees have suffered anger, impatience and worry as a result of being impacted by periods of internet downtime in their place of work.

The study claims that 42% of organisations – the equivalent of 2.4 million companies nationwide – suffered “at least one major internet failure” that prevented them from trading or accessing vital online services in 2018.

However it’s worth pointing out that “internet failures” can just as easily be attributed to problems with an office’s local network setup (this may affect entire LANs or only individual workstations), just as it can be to the fixed broadband or leased line connectivity provided via an ISP. Sadly the survey doesn’t make a clear distinction between the two different sides.

Nevertheless the study noted that leaders from 74% of the businesses that experienced such outages reported how their employees had exhibited one or more negative emotional responses as a result of downtime, with between a third and half of the workforce affected, on average.

The Emotional Impact of Biz Internet Failures

* Employees displayed greater impatience at a third (32%) of companies suffering internet downtime. More than half (51%) of people at these firms were affected on average.

* A quarter (24%) of leaders said that internet downtime had made their employees more restless and less able to concentrate. 48% of people were affected on average.

* A fifth (21%) of leaders said internet downtime made their employees more angry. On average, 44% of people displayed more anger than usual at affected companies last year.

* 17% of leaders at companies that had experienced internet downtime said that it made staff member more negative, while 14% said employees became more emotional and more likely to overreact to what others say.

On the flip side there were also some “minor positive outcomes” from internet failures, with around 13% of leaders at businesses affected by such issues saying some employees were “visibly more relaxed and actually enjoyed the downtime” (we suspect this may be the case in firms that don’t have a laborious manual alternative for their staff). A fifth (20%) of such leaders also said their people spent more time talking to colleagues as a result (it’s unclear if this was productive for the businesses or just chitchat).

Sonia Blizzard, Managing Director of Beaming, said:

“Rock solid, reliable internet connectivity is critical for businesses now, the majority of companies simply can’t manage without it. There can be no surprise that many people respond emotionally when the internet fails because it impacts directly on their productivity and ability to do their jobs.

Our research shows that the majority of businesses suffering a disruptive internet failure find large parts of their workforce experience heightened levels of anger, impatience and worry as a result. Downtime damages productivity, it hits morale and harms the working relationships that make organisations successful.

Communication is crucial for good collaboration, so it is interesting that a fifth of businesses found people actually spent more time talking to each other without the internet. These face-to-face conversations should be happening regularly, not just when people are forced to.”

Obviously Beaming has a vested interest in trying to promote itself as a better ISP above, although as we said such issues can just as easily be caused by problems that are external to the provider’s own network. One of the best ways to minimise downtime is to simply ensure ample redundancy via physically separate networks.

Leave a Comment
8 Responses
  1. Avatar TheFacts says:

    Load of nonsense. Internet or intranet?

    What about annoyance when the coffee machine is not working?

    1. Avatar dragoneast says:

      What about the emotional suffering caused when the internet is working, by the endless pile of drivel like this stuff… ?

    2. Avatar beany says:

      Agreed this is absolute nonsense. Who actually comes up with studies/surveys like this anyway? You have to be a right loon to even think in the first place “hmm i wonder what the emotional state is of someone at work who can not answer a few emails or similar for a little while”.

      Christ only knows how the snowflakes in the study felt if one day they leave work 5 mins later than normal. Probably have a complete mental breakdown if that ever happens.

  2. Avatar Lyncol says:

    I wish my company email would down move often to allow me time to get some work done!

  3. Avatar Michael V says:

    We’ve become too dependant on an Always On data connection.
    If it doesn’t work deal with it. Yes it may be a business but technology is incredibly fragile & easily broken.

  4. Avatar Horatio ;) says:

    I suffered an outage recently after choosing to work from home.

    With deadlines looming and the fact the decision to work from home was mine, it was a miserable and anxious afternoon indeed. I agree with the report.

    I’m seriously weighing the option of getting a backup line installed because “4G” from EE and Three was terrible and did not function not a substitute — for whatever reason, probably poor signal, I couldn’t maintain a VPN connection to the office. Luckily I have both VM and OpenReach as options so this will be true redundancy

  5. Avatar dee.jay says:

    There’s a reason I have two VDSL circuits at home, and I know EE tethering from my phone is reliable. We are in a society where we all need always on internet, and some of the comments here are obviously from people that don’t use broadband the same way as others. That’s nice for them.

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