The majority of businesses report their staff experienced significant negative emotions when internet failure occurred.
Beaming, an internet service provider for businesses, conducted a survey which found that almost half of all businesses (42 per cent), the equivalent of 2.4 million companies around the UK, dealt with one or more major internet failure in 2018 which stopped them from being able to trade or access vital online services.
In these cases, almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of leaders of businesses saw their staff experience negative emotions towards internet outages.
Under a third of companies (32 per cent) reported 51 per cent of their employees showing greater impatience due to the internet failures.
Nearly a quarter of leaders (24 per cent) who suffered an internet outage at their company reported that 48 per cent of employees were more restless and showed an inability to concentrate.
Furthermore, 40 per cent of workers at a fifth of businesses (21 per cent) became angrier as a result of internet failure.
In terms of monetary loss, Beaming calculated that almost 60 million hours of working time were lost due to UK internet outages in 2018 which, overall, cost businesses £742 million in lost productivity and extra overtime.
Despite this, there were some minor advantages to the situation, 13 per cent of businesses reported their workers appearing more relaxed due to the increased free time resulting from the Internet failures.
Furthermore, a fifth of leaders also reported that, during this time, colleagues used this opportunity to talk to one another.
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.
Beaming used the results from 504 UK-based organisations who used a different range of internet service providers in 2018.
Monica Sharma is an English Literature graduate from the University of Warwick. As Editor for HRreview, her particular interests in HR include issues concerning diversity, employment law and wellbeing in the workplace. Alongside this, she has written for student publications in both England and Canada. Monica has also presented her academic work concerning the relationship between legal systems, sexual harassment and racism at a university conference at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.