• Mobility

5G: Boosting wellbeing and productivity

The familiarity of the office and our daily routines are something we’ve all become accustomed to and, at times, made excuses for. For instance, you’ve become a pro at ‘meeting room roulette’ – the game you and your colleagues are forced to play when the online booking system goes down. The same game that leaves you stressed and scrambling for the only meeting room with an access point.

If papering over the process cracks were a sport, we’re all at black belt level. These are mere occupational hazards, right? Wrong, and unfortunately, the pandemic is magnifying these challenges along with the impact they’re having on employee wellbeing and productivity. Luckily, a new network is set to change this. Let’s take a look at wellbeing, efficiency, and the impact of 5G on the two.

The Great Resignation

At their core, businesses are customer-focused. This can sometimes mean employees are overlooked.

Pre-pandemic, many new recruits would start a role without questioning the equipment provided and would simply do the best with what they were given. The good news is that times have changed. The bad news? A new phenomenon is stirring, and it’s called the Great Resignation.

A survey of 6,000 workers has found that 69% were feeling confident about moving to a new role in the next few months. 24% say they plan to change roles within the next three to six months. Prior to this, the average number of workers likely to move jobs each year was around 11% – quite the hike. Speaking of hikes, this mass exodus could cost employers around £25,000 per leaver.

“Wellbeing? But we offer remote working!”

Hybrid working is no longer considered ‘innovative’. Instead, it’s expected.

The option for hybrid working in a job description is as important to job seekers as advertised salary. Many businesses are encouraging their teams to work from home – and rightly so – but how well are they actually working?

Are new cracks being identified, caused by an underpinned network that doesn’t cut the mustard? Your teams need bandwidth that allows them to handle large amounts of data and run multiple software at once.

Complacency is re-emerging. Staff are putting up with bad reception and getting used to the frozen screens, the momentary lapses in connection, the out of sync audio and visual.

Just think how more efficient and confident your teams would be if they had access to a robust network, such as 5G.

Did you know that over a third of UK home workers are using mobile data instead of their fixed broadband? 36% of Brits working from home are relying on mobile data to stay online and 61% say it has improved their overall working experience.

Why, you ask? A mobile network such as 5G can be significantly faster and more capable, with much lower latency levels. That means clearer calls, faster download speeds and effortless collaboration. Wellbeing, efficiency and 5G are a trio made in heaven. In the near future, who’s to say it won’t supersede the use of fixed-line services for business working?

Let’s not forget, although very well timed, this fifth-generation technology wasn’t created to combat connection lag due to a new, wide-scale trend of hybrid working. Long before the pandemic, mobile workers were grappling with network issues and crying out for better connectivity. This has been years in the making.

Low risk, high reward

It doesn’t matter where they’re based – your workforce could be spread across the country, working out of kitchens, offices or on trains. The common theme here is that they want, and need, to work reliably and securely.

How many times have you been working on the road, toying back and forth between the nearest available Wi-Fi and your mobile connection? In the meantime, you’ve become a digital hoarder, so focused on connection issues that your inbox is slowly filling up in the background.

With 5G, mobile team members won’t have to rely on dodgy train Wi-Fi. The network is already available in over 370 towns and cities (and counting). Your workforce will be able to access critical customer data and pick up calls during notoriously poor Wi-Fi spots. It will also mean that in-between contact, they can utilise that precious idle time. Maybe dip back into that quarterly presentation they’ve been trying to finish.

Benefit barriers

While the parallels between wellbeing, efficiency and 5G cannot be ignored, one barrier businesses may be concerned about is high-priced devices and device availability. 5G devices are now becoming more affordable. Even mid-range and budget phones are being built to be 5G compatible and with innovative pricing scales. There’s no excuse not to invest.

A downside to superior connectivity is that it can breed an always-on culture. Connecting multiple devices and the ability to be contactable 24/7 is leading to employee burnout. To use the benefits efficiently, we must identify the need for 24/7 contact. One entire business won’t need it, but some departments may.

Any department adopting this technology needs to be enhanced by it. It can open doors for new ways to operate and innovate, but employee satisfaction must be monitored. Just because you’re getting more out of your teams, it doesn’t mean that efficiency and quality of output, as well as their mental health, aren’t taking a big dip.

Dial hard

If your business is used to receiving a high influx of calls daily, 5G’s innovations to Voice over IP (VoIP) can help. While the latest focus is steering towards more digital ways of communicating with customers, voice isn’t going anywhere. A resilient voice offering will always be essential.

Your employees expect a VoIP solution that runs on a more dependable internet service – one that can handle large amounts of data without hindering quality or speed.

VoIP focuses on removing drops from connection and, with the power of 5G behind it, calls will be streamlined. Employees no longer need to worry about losing a customer mid-call. Along with VoIP, 5G’s low latency levels mean video conferencing, cloud-based collaboration, and any other activities that consume a high amount of data, will run much faster.

A slice of the network pie

Let’s not forget network slicing – the process of ‘slicing’ a network into separate network paths, then dedicating that path to a specific application or device (you can find a breakdown of this concept in our 5G jargon buster blog). Businesses can route connectivity to the path that is experiencing the most traffic at the time. Maybe you’re holding a bandwidth-heavy critical meeting with your stakeholders, or your training team are conducting virtual sessions across the company. You can priories applications as per your objectives.

But what’s the correlation between slicing, efficiency and 5G? Although network slicing isn’t a new concept, with 5G, productivity won’t be impacted if all of this is happening on your network and one user has decided to download a large file at the same time.

Conclusion

We’ve shared our thoughts around wellbeing efficiency and 5G, but what do businesses think? A survey of 265 key decision-makers has revealed 80% believe 5G will increase employee productivity, reduce costs, and enhance customer experience.

But that’s not all. Research also suggests that 5G could boost business revenues in the UK by between £8.3 billion and £15.7 billion. The opportunities 5G bring are set to be profound.

For employees, no amount of ‘pizza Fridays’ or burning sage can cleanse decades of middle-of-the-road solutions or wobbly desk legs. Businesses must focus on nurturing the right environment, but they also need to invest in more accessible, mobile-friendly tools.

Easy to adopt and utilise, 5G lays the groundwork for a more profitable future and enables employees to reach their full potential, without compromising their mental health. They’ll thank you for it.

Has our wellbeing, efficiency and 5G blog left you wanting to find out more? Get in touch with our team to discover the further benefits of 5G, or why not visit our Mobile page?