Hybrid workers call on employers to increase investment in connectivity

A general lack of quality in mobile coverage has long been a gripe among UK mobile users, despite the majority of the country having access to a strong mobile signal in their homes and local communities, and a survey commissioned by wireless telecoms infrastructure company Cellnex UK has found buildings are proving a barrier to workers receiving quality mobile service in the office. 

The study was undertaken by Censuswide between 25 April and 2 May, gauging the views of 2,000 hybrid workers in the UK.

The report noted that with many of today’s office buildings consisting of thick concrete or stone walls, brick and steel structures, and an increased use of metalised glass, over half (55%) of those surveyed report that their mobile connection is better at home than at the office.

According to the findings, the top three problem areas at work with weaker mobile signal are office stairwells, meeting rooms, and communal spaces such as kitchens or break rooms.

The study also revealed that the overwhelming majority of those surveyed (86%) believe reliable mobile connectivity plays an important role in job performance. Poor mobile connectivity would also deter 68% of hybrid workers surveyed from coming into the office, and 40% stated they have considered changing jobs due to persistent mobile connectivity issues.

A lack of reliable mobile connectivity in the office was affecting seven in 10 (70%) hybrid workers surveyed, forcing the majority of employees to leave their office building simply to make a phone call (60%), with reports of decreased productivity (74%) and increased stress levels (72%) as a result.

Slow internet speeds (40%), weak mobile network signal (39%) and dealing with areas in the office which have poor or no mobile coverage (36%) were highlighted as the top connectivity issues faced. Over a quarter (27%) of those experiencing connectivity issues experienced them on average two to three days per week.

As a result of these issues, many hybrid workers said they were looking to their organisations to address this, with nearly two-thirds of those surveyed (61%) calling on their employers to increase investment in office mobile connectivity.

Edmund Wilkinson, head of sales for in-building solutions at Cellnex UK, warned the findings emphasised that many office buildings across the UK are actually not fit for purpose when it comes to facilitating the needs of a modern workforce, and that it’s essential to ensure building infrastructure is suitably upgraded to meet demand.

“In today’s increasingly digital world, reliable mobile connectivity is essential for productivity and employee well-being,” he said. “By addressing these issues, businesses can expect to not only increase productivity, but also create a more collaborative and less stressful work environment for their employees.”