Office workers call time on dumb phones, says Avaya

PRESS RELEASE: Office workers are calling for an end to exclusively desk-bound communications technology, in particular ‘dumb’ desk phones that can only make calls, according to research by Avaya, the global leader in delivering superior customer experiences.

Avaya is releasing the results of this comprehensive global survey at UC EXPO, Europe’s largest Unified Communications and Collaboration event, where it is a keynote participant.

The Avaya survey, conducted with research company YouGov, asked more than 3,000 office employees in the UK and around the world if they felt equipped to work and collaborate effectively. The findings reveal a pressing demand for more mobile, virtual and cloud-based technologies and represent a direct appeal to employers to invest in more suitable UC technology. Almost a quarter (24%[i]) of office workers worldwide say their boss doesn’t provide them with the right tools.

WhatsApp and WeChat groups are now used by an average of (39%) of all employees for work purposes without the knowledge of IT, administrative or management teams, exposing companies to security risks.

Traditional technology, like the call-only desktop handset, is now less significant than mobile and cloud-based tools, according to office workers, who consider data packages (37%) for their mobile to be more important that traditional phone and email access (26%). Employees say they also want independent access to work emails from their smart phones (35%) and remote access to file servers and databases from their mobiles or other devices outside the company network (34%).

More than a third of workers (37%[ii]) spend an average of eight working days away from their desks during a typical month, meaning they rely less on traditional hardware and more on a patchwork of mobile and cloud-based collaboration software to keep up with their busy schedules.

Ioan MacRae, UK Managing Director at Avaya, says: “Businesses, especially mid-sized companies, must recognize that workers in every field are becoming more nomadic. Mobility and the internet of things are key contributing factors to a macrotrend in how we all live and communicate. Left to their own devices, employees will use whatever tools they have in their pockets so they can work and stay in touch easily.

“Companies that fail to address this trend have no visibility into how their employees are communicating and sharing data. But if you set up a controllable environment with a unified cloud-based service, you can protect yourself from data breaches and cyber attacks. The UC EXPO is a great opportunity for us to discuss these issues with companies of all sizes, to help them build robust and effective cloud communication services. Our research shows that communications technology needs to be just as versatile and scalable as our day-to-day jobs.”

Two in five employees (38%) say they want a joined-up IT service from their employer with collaboration tools built into existing enterprise applications, like a click-to-call through email or an option to join conference calls through their calendars.

About the data

Avaya, in association with YouGov, polled 3,050 professionals in six markets (23rd – 30th January 2017), covering Australia, France, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. The respondents were split 40:60 per cent female and male. 70 per cent were between the ages of 21 and 49, and 30 per cent were older than 50.