The stress caused by slow internet and WiFi issues is most definitely a 21st century affliction. In a world where so much information arrives at our fingertips instantly, we’ve become highly tuned to notice even the slightest of delays. A few seconds can feel like an eternity.

One study suggested the stress caused by delays to loading web pages and videos is equivalent to watching a horror film.

Current research by Somerset Chamber of Commerce and full fibre broadband provider Truespeed is highlighting the impact on South West businesses:

“Buffering causes major problems for many, while almost a quarter of the respondents, so far, reported problems simply sending or receiving emails. Half of those who had completed the survey, to date, said their existing internet speed was already restricting their business. “

Somerset Chamber of Commerce news

For business owners this is a big problem from a number of perspectives – for customers, for employees and even in their own personal lives.

Employee internet interruption red mist

We’ve all been there. Staring at the frozen screen. Hoping that critical, time-sensitive email, presentation or document upload isn’t permanently lost in buffering limbo. Blood pressure rising.

Inevitably, frustrated, disengaged staff lead to unhappy, disengaged customers.

This blog excerpt from a US technology company attempts to break down the potential cost of this productivity problem:

One day’s work can be accomplished by one full-time employee. The average human thinks 400 words per minute, speaks 125 wpm and types 40 wpm. This means each employee is losing 90% productivity as they type versus how fast they think.

A study by Sandisk found slow WiFi connections cost employees one week per year of productivity, which averages another 2% of inactivity into the mix. This means businesses are paying for only 8% of the full capability of each full-time employee.

This slowdown of productivity decreases overall morale within the company. A recent Gallup poll found 22 million actively disengaged employees costing the economy as much as $350 billion per year alone.

Accucode blog, August 2018

Slow WiFi stress for customers

And it’s not just staff venting their frustration on your unsuspecting customers that can cause issues. If your business receives visiting customers, it’s likely you offer access to your WiFi network.

This is particularly crucial in the hospitality industry. We seem to take WiFi almost as much for granted as cutlery or toilets. More than half of customers in this sector would be more likely to return if free WiFi is offered. (And presumably less likely if it’s not.)

A poor customer WiFi experience is a recipe not just for lost repeat business. It’s no secret new customers are increasingly researching online before buying/visiting. Consequently, negative comments and reviews are having a more direct influence on businesses’ bottom line than ever before.

WiFi flash points at home cause unwanted distractions

It’s not just office or workplace connectivity that can cause businesses problems. 40% of the UK workforce now work from home at least once a week. With the rise in flexible home-working arrangements comes increasing pressure on household WiFi bandwidth to also support business functions. (That’s on top of streaming services already pushing home broadband to its limits for many households.)

And poor internet connectivity becomes even more of an issue if your home is also your business premises. 60% of new businesses in the UK start from home. For these ‘homepreneurs’, popping to a well-equipped office to send a crucial document just isn’t an option.

According to BT’s Modern Families report, 1 in 8 argue about their WiFi. What’s more, nearly half think they would be more productive and happy with better WiFi. So there’s seemingly a strong link between the health of a household’s internet connectivity and its sense of well-being.

Ignore the buffering blues at your business’s peril

It seems there’s plenty of evidence out there to suggest poor internet connectivity has a detrimental effect on business.

The trouble is, the link isn’t always that obvious. As a result, many smaller businesses in particular muddle along using inappropriate or outdated WiFi equipment. Or skimp on cheap broadband packages (often for lack of a faster alternative).

The impact on morale, productivity and customer experience is undoubtedly harming profits. In this context, under-investment in business and home office WiFi networks simply isn’t sustainable.

Slow WiFi stress relief for Bristol & Bath businesses

If your Bristol and Bath area business is losing out because of poor WiFi contact us. Our professional WiFi solutions offer permanent stress relief for slow internet issues.