04 Sep

Australian business productivity impacted by limitations of international communications

  • 47.7% of businesses experienced employees unable to work through lack of connectivity abroad
  • 49.6% of employees are unlikely to call or text colleagues who are travelling internationally due to the high costs and complexity of roaming

28 August 2014 (Sydney, Australia) – Limitations caused by the challenge of international communications are impacting the productivity of Australian businesses, according to research by global mobile communications provider Truphone
The research surveyed Australian businesses with more than 40 employees¹, which travel or conduct business internationally. The high cost of international communications have pushed many into measures that restrict or inhibit communication across borders, impacting employee productivity whether roaming internationally or calling from Australia.
The research revealed 21.5% of Australian businesses report facing problems with restricted communications between employees, clients and business partners, and 21.2% experience issues with lack of access to internal network resources whilst abroad. Respondents identified a range of concerns about international communication, spanning loss of efficiency, the impact of restricted communication on employees, and complaints from customers and suppliers who could not get in contact, resulting in lost business opportunities.
Respondents also reported a range of impacts resulting from restricted international communications which impact the decision making process and delay the resolution of customer issues. Business critical impacts include ‘lost business’, ‘lost clients’, ‘wasting time’, and ‘reduced effectiveness of personnel.’  
Dr Alex Ip, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific, Truphone, said: “The impact of restricted international communications on Australian business productivity is staggering – for both the productivity of employees, and to the business itself. With one business reporting the loss of a $500,000 account due to restricted access to communications while travelling, it’s evident that businesses are suffering.”
“In a world of increasing exports and international trade, Australian businesses need a solution to reduce roaming and international call costs, while increasing productivity and teamwork between employees, contacts and suppliers in global environments.”    

Key research highlights

  • 47.7% of businesses experienced instances of employees unable to work through lack of connectivity while travelling abroad.
  • 40.4% of business travellers believe alternatives to mobile phones inhibit productivity, and use their phone while travelling regardless of cost.
  • Almost half (49.6%) of the respondents said they were unlikely to call/text colleagues who are travelling internationally due to high costs and/or complexity of roaming.
  • 21.5% of organisations are restricting communications between employees, clients and business partners.
  • One in five business travellers reported having restrictions placed on international mobile calls, and being dependant solely on email when travelling internationally.

This report is the second in a series of two reports into the international communications landscape for Australian businesses.
A total of 300 respondents participated in the research, of which 53.3% were employed by large enterprise and 46.7% worked for small-to-medium sized businesses. For the purposes of this research, a large enterprise is defined as having more than 200 staff, while a small-to-medium business is defined as having between 40 and 199 employees.

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