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“What?” The Most Expensive Word In Business Today

Audio issues can result in almost 30 minutes of lost productivity per week for every employee

Theis Moerk, Vice President Of Product Management at EPOS

Audio technology plays a crucial role in facilitating a more flexible, functional working environment and as a result, a bad audio experience can have a huge impact on our day-to-day workflow. According to a new global study of 2,500 end-users and decision makers of audio equipment, 95% of modern workers experience audio pain points, impacting concentration and efficiency.

Whether it be during internal and external calls or more critical events such as shareholder meetings, a call dropping out or overall low-quality audio is a hugely frustrating problem as well as costly one. As the research found, audio issues can result in almost 30 minutes of lost productivity per week for every employee and some decision makers have even lost a key piece of work, deal or new business pitch as a result of poor audio.

This has significant cost repercussions. For the average full-time worker, this equates to just over three days of lost time, which when looking at the average annual US wage (according to OECD data) means $725.21 of wasted expenditure per employee per annum. Organizations that employee over 100 people risk losing over $70,000. Beyond these cost implications, there are consequences for employee health and wellbeing too. The research revealed that 69% of employees spend extra time on their work tasks due to poor sound quality. This time could not only be put to better use, but it also negatively impacts workers by causing unnecessary stress.

Company leaders have a responsibility not only to their business, but to their employees, to provide the best equipment to ensure optimum productivity levels and maintain their competitive edge in the market. Luckily, in today’s digital era, the technological breakthroughs we’re seeing in the audio sector – such as artificial intelligence being integrated into headsets to monitor the users’ auditory preferences, to collaboration software being used in speaker phones – are bringing us closer to an age of convenience and ease of connectivity. In fact, 79% of those experiencing auditory pain points believe good audio equipment (such as headsets, headphones or speaker phones) is the right solution to solve their workplace challenges.

This is more acute as we embrace the new normal of remote and flexible working. Businesses must keep morale and communication levels high, while providing employees with the right tools to be time efficient. Collaboration software is still in its infancy currently, with only 38% of workers using Skype for Business in their company, 27% using Microsoft Teams, and 10% making use of Zoom.

As companies realize the benefits these tools can bring into their day-to-day working life, we can expect to see these figures rise in the coming years. The research shows that 93% of decision makers are planning to purchase high quality audio solutions within the next 12 months. This includes collaboration tools like headsets and speaker phones that match the ongoing UC deployments.

For example, a certified audio solution can instantly activate the Teams app, giving users immediate access to schedule meetings, organize calls via their contacts and call history, initiate video calls as well as gain access to their calendar at a moments notice – helping to not only drive efficiencies but allow users to stay connected wherever and whenever.

Gradually over the last decade, and now acutely in the last few months, we’ve seen our workspaces and the way we work undergo a dramatic transformation. The importance of good audio solutions that ensure intuitive communication and effortless collaboration are a necessity for companies to succeed in today’s market – safeguarding employee productivity and overall satisfaction. As enterprises take these steps toward eliminating bad audio, we can finally hope to put “what?” out of business once and for all.

See also: What To Expect For The Future Of Work Post-Pandemic