Downtime issues costing small businesses more than £500 per employee, per year

8 years ago

Downtime issues costing small businesses more than £500 per employee, per year

You’ve got a deadline, your boss is waiting, you need to work online and the internet connection goes down! Is this a recognisable scenario? A report into connectivity within SMEs claims to have found it is and, what’s more, it’s costing businesses dearly.

The research, carried out by telecoms firm, the Daisy Group, counts the cost of internet downtime to SMEs. They found that, despite more than three quarters of UK SMEs saying they rely on the internet to operate, half of business leaders remain in the dark about the amount of money that downtime is costing their business.

According to the research, companies suffer an average of 45 minutes of downtime each week – that’s more than £500 per employee, per year, in lost productivity (the equivalent of a whole working week).

The average period of downtime was found to be around 15 minutes but some workers claimed to have experienced it for more than an hour on occasion. So how do employees fill their time once the connection is lost? A whopping two thirds of those questioned (60%) admitted to being distracted by personal business, nearly half (48%) took the opportunity to have a coffee break, a quarter said they used the time to check Facebook on their Smartphone, 9 per cent said they look for a new job and 7 per cent shop. Only 30 per cent said they use the time to swot up on work related reading!

Commenting on the research, Head of Philip Brennan said,

“Downtime can be very unproductive unfortunately people will not move straight onto work that does not require the internet as it is generally impossible to say when connectivity will come back! The temptation is to get lost in Google Chrome’s addictive jumping dinosaur game!”

The research was carried out in partnership with 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 unaware of the initiative.

Graham Harris, product director at Daisy Group, 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.”

To find out more about SuperFast Britain government grants, operating across 50 UK cities, click here

Lucy Liddiard