UK productivity fall is not helped by underperforming collaborative technologies, says StarLeaf
The UK suffered a “disappointing” fall in productivity at the end of last year as GDP slowed, rounding off a sluggish 2018. Productivity - measured as output per hours worked - fell 0.2 per cent in the fourth quarter compared with the same period in 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Citing reasons for this fall, experts highlight the importance technology plays in enhancing productivity amongst staff. According to Shallu Behar-Sheehan, CMO at StarLeaf, too much time is lost during a meeting on IT tasks where users are either trying to set up or join a video conference call and encountering reliability issues.
A recent survey commissioned by StarLeaf (across IT decision-makers and Line of Business leaders and from a broad spectrum of private sector enterprises), revealed UK employees participate in conference calls 26 times a month on average. From this, 83 per cent of participants voiced a desire to see content sharing abilities improved across their video conferencing software. Additionally, 90 per cent of participants admitted experiencing problems when first trying to connect to a meeting.
The nature of these challenges can take its toll on a business, eating into an employee’s working day. Most people have at some point in their working career experienced difficulties setting up a video conference, which in many cases can take up to five minutes of unproductive meeting time. Based on this scenario and considered alongside data from StarLeaf’s survey, this would equate to 130 minutes of time per month trying to join a video conference. Amplified over a longer duration, each UK employee could be losing up 26 working hours a year. Whilst not a scientific study, this supposition clearly points to the need for reliable and intuitive video conferencing and how this can enable greater efficiency in the workplace.
Commenting on this matter Behar-Sheehan, says: “The need to support the ‘always-on economy’ is shifting the dynamic of the modern workplace. Enterprises are increasingly empowering employees to work flexibly and become more productive in their jobs, regardless of whether that is in the office or working at home. For this to be effective, the right collaboration technologies must be implemented.”
Behar-Sheehan continues, “Evidence shows from the survey that too much time is lost trying to connect to a video conference call. Enterprise users want video conferencing to be intuitive, allowing them to focus on the meeting and not have to be hindered by technology issues. Reliability is fundamental to meeting room systems in order to achieve a consistent service, which enables employees to connect, communicate, share, and collaborate in an instant.
“Cloud-based video conferencing solutions enable enterprises to be more productive, reduce IT burdens, and reassure business leaders that employees are secure. Those vendors that operate their own global cloud network provide a consistent service to businesses with a multi-site network. Without reliance on any third-party infrastructure, users can connect and communicate more effectively. Thus, for enterprises to stay at the forefront of communications, it’s time to move collaboration to the cloud,” Behar-Sheehan concludes.