19 Sep Workers rail against poor wireless networks – Opinion – ABC Technology and Games (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Workers rail against poor wireless networks
Finding of a survey of 2000 UK workers reveal interesting findings that are reflected across the Australian market around the poor performance of corporate wireless networks. According to the survey, most enterprise wireless networks fall short of employees’ expectations for on-the-go work practices.
The findings reveal that around two-thirds of workers surveyed rate their home internet connection as better than what they have at work. Additionally around 40 per cent of employees blame poor Wi-Fi connectivity as the primary reason for missed deadlines.
Despite the prevalence of Wi-Fi in the workplace, it generally does not meet employees’ expectations in terms of speed or security. Moreover, many employees do not trust their work Wi-Fi connection, citing it is flaky due to the high density of users as well as poor design of the placement of hardware.
It came to no surprise that in June 2013, wireless was found to be the primary tool for accessing a corporate network for around 40 per cent of businesses. This figure is anticipated to rise to 90 per cent over the next five to ten years.
First installations of Wi-Fi within corporate walls were mostly to cater for ‘guest’ Internet usage, rather than access to the corporate network by employees. However the growing ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) culture has changed work practices and Wi-Fi now plays a prominent role within the enterprise.
The ease of use of the growing number of Wi-Fi hotspots within populated areas, and introduction of Wi-Fi on planes have raised expectations around the performance of corporate Wi-Fi networks. Employees expect a Wi-Fi connection that mirrors the performance and ease-of-use they have on their home networks, with the scale and security of a business-class network needs to be considered.
Wireless essential to do business
One in three respondents said they could not do their job without wireless. The situation has not improved over the last 12 months. According to the report, poor connectivity was cited as the number one productivity loser. Two-thirds of wireless workers surveyed blamed the corporate network infrastructure for poor connections.
A slowdown of the enterprise wireless network is normally caused by an increase in the number of mobile devices entering the network, predominately due to the BYOD culture. The IT helpdesk remains at the coalface when these connectivity issues crop up.
Left to their own devices, around a third of workers said they vented their frustration with slow network speeds by waving their mobile phone in the air in a bid to improve coverage.
An unreliable and unstable connection is a great source of frustration for employees, impacting their productivity and efficiency levels in the workplace. It is becoming increasingly important for businesses to re-assess their network and ensure they have the right network solution in place to cater for their employees’ needs and ultimately maximise productivity and efficiency in the workplace.