As our professional and personal lives become ever more reliant on technology, instances in which our devices fail us can cause substantial levels of frustration. Truthfully, this may be the epitome of a first-world problem, but such criticism doesn’t remove the negative impact of lacklustre technology and insufficient signal strengths.

A recent study published by telecommunications company Arqiva further highlighted the detrimental effects of one particular technological frustration, namely signal black spots. Their research shows that 25% of office workers would consider moving jobs, or have already taken that step, directly as a result of a lack of mobile coverage within the building.

The study of 1,000 UK office workers revealed that almost half (49%) of respondents receive poor mobile signal within their office building. 72% say this happens every week, while 25% experience the issue daily.

43% state that such issues negatively impact their job performance, and 26% claim it causes heightened levels of stress and frustration. Factors such as stress are known to further impact negatively upon job performance, creating a cocktail sure to harm any business in the long run.

John Lillistone, head of products for Telecoms at Arqiva, said of the study’s results, “With 43 per cent of those we asked saying that poor mobile coverage does or would significantly impact their ability to do their job, and a quarter (26 per cent) claiming it already causes them extreme levels of stress and frustration, indoor coverage is clearly not an issue that companies can afford to ignore.

“Looking to the future, younger ‘mobile first’ workers appear particularly intolerant of the growing problem – amongst generations X and Y the willingness to leave their job over poor coverage rose to over a third (35 per cent).”

The primary problem when it comes to combatting such problems is that there remains much uncertainty as to what exactly causes these areas of insufficient signal, with 90% of respondents blaming their mobile network, 70% blaming the device itself, 42% put the blame on their IT manager, and 41% fault the building designer.

Lillistone however thinks she has found the primary cause, as she continues in saying, “In actual fact, it is usually the building itself that’s the root cause of poor indoor mobile coverage – you’d be surprised by the extent to which modern building materials, such as insulation and double glazing, can hamper signal.

“Given all this, it is little wonder there is so much confusion among users – indoor mobile coverage is a complicated issue which no one party can solve on its own. Networks, architects, builders and employers all have a part to play and as the UK battles to become a leader of the 5G connected world, it is vital for them all to work together to understand their role in finding a solution for current indoor coverage woes.”

Given the scale and widespread nature of such signal-based frustrations, those companies which find themselves in a black spot should perhaps consider taking steps to remedy the situation lest they end up with a workforce somewhat lacking in number.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.
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