Home Wi-Fi Beats Enterprise Wireless for UK Workers

Survey explores productivity, gripes and practices of a wireless-dependent workforce

Farnham, UK —May 27, 2014— A survey of 2,000 Britons found that 1 in 3 rely on wireless access and connected devices to do their jobs effectively, yet 61% of those believe they get better Wi-Fi at home than in their workplace.

The research, commissioned by Aerohive Networks® (NYSE:HIVE), reveals the connected dependence, habits and frustrations of this group of wireless-reliant UK workers.

With poor connectivity at work resulting in missed deadlines, high-levels of frustration and a major force of productivity disruption, the survey points to a workforce with a growing reliance on wireless access and demand for higher-performing networks. Further findings from the research include:

  •  Missed Deadlines, Frustration and Excuses: Up to 40% have missed deadlines and opportunities at work due to poor connectivity, with some even having used it as an excuse when reporting back to bosses.
    ·  8 out of 10 workers are ‘very’ or ‘extremely frustrated’ when unable to connect to wireless.
  • The Desperate Device Shake: A third of wireless workers resort to waving their device in the air in a bid to get better coverage.
    ·  Regionally, Londoners are the worst offenders at 41%.
    ·  The younger the employee the more likely they are to abuse their device in connectivity despair; almost half of 18-34 year old respondents admitted to the habit.
  • Connectivity more important than Power (and Tea!): When asked to highlight scenarios that disrupt the working day and most impede productivity, the top three spots were all taken by IT challenges.
    ·  Unreliable on/off connectivity topped the list, beating ‘a power cut’ into second place with ‘wireless temporarily down’ in third.
    ·  Unforeseen last-minute deadlines ranked fourth, and the dreaded fire drill only managed fifth spot.
    ·  Contrary to popular belief, Britain’s workforce doesn't run on caffeine and sweet snacks; running out of tea, coffee and biscuits was ranked in last place (although 3% did state a tea shortage as the most disruptive to their ability to do their job effectively)
  • Taking the Blame: Two thirds of the 641 wireless-workers polled automatically blame the infrastructure for poor connections, as opposed to the device or other users.
    ·  50% assume the wireless is down, 10% recognise others could be hogging their wireless capacity, and only 11% would consider a problem with their device.
    ·  Despite only 1 in 10 blaming the device, switching devices is the third most popular fix for users when faced with connectivity challenges. When asked ‘what is the first thing you do when facing connectivity issues at work?’ the full rankings were as follows:
        1. Complain to IT/ call helpdesk  (18%)
        2. Find a way to 'plug in' to a wired network, unless it’s a phone or tablet! (17%)
        3. Switch devices and see if that makes a difference (16%)
        4. See if a colleague can help (14%)
        5. Head to a different location where I know Wi-Fi works (12%)
        6. Do something that doesn't require access until it’s fixed (12%)
        7. Tether my device using 3G (6%)
        8.  Other (5%)
  • Preferences Mix Work and Play: When asked ‘what apps do you access during downtime in the working day?’ the top three were Facebook and Twitter (48%) news apps (47%) and work email (44%).
    ·  Work email came out top for those age 45+
    ·  Mobile Gaming (22%) proved popular, followed by productivity and document apps like Dropbox or Evernote (12%) and LinkedIn (10%)
    ·  Unsurprisingly, trains (42%), connected cars (37%), aeroplanes (31%) and buses (20%) all ranked highly on the Wi-Fi wish-list for always-on connectivity.

Comments

Paul Hennin, International Marketing Director at Aerohive, says, “With a third of us Brits already dependent on wireless connectivity for work, there’s no doubt that it’s fast becoming the primary access layer. Connecting should be quick and simple though, and the user experiences here would suggest that not all enterprises are ready for it.”

“The findings point to a host of Wi-Fi frustrations and a perception-gap on the cause of these. The network is getting all the blame for poor experiences, when in reality the mobile device and users themselves have a big part to play,” continues Hennin. “There’s a lot still to learn as our new mobile behaviours and consumption demands mean traditional enterprise Wi-Fi networks will need to evolve.”

Gareth Green, General Manager International, at Aerohive concludes, “There’s more to be done to improve the user experience in the enterprise. Businesses are doing something wrong if the thousands of pounds spent on enterprise Wi-Fi aren’t providing the experience consumers get from ‘off the shelf’ home products. Clearly a new approach is needed that gives the performance and ease-of-use customers have at home, with the scale and security of the enterprise.” 

Notes to Editors

In March 2014, Aerohive commissioned an online survey among 2,004 randomly selected British adults aged 18+ who are Springboard UK panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.2%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current social grade, age, gender and region data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of Great Britain. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

The base size of the stated wireless-dependent workers is 641 respondents. The full research findings are available on request.

About Aerohive Networks

Aerohive (NYSE: HIVE) unleashes the power of enterprise mobility. Aerohive’s technology enables organizations of all sizes to use mobility to increase productivity, engage customers, and grow their business.Deployed in over 14,000 enterprises worldwide, Aerohive's proprietary mobility platform takes advantage of the cloud and a distributed architecture to deliver unified, intelligent, simplified and cost-effective networks. Aerohive was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif. For more information, please visit www.aerohive.com, call us at 408-510-6100, follow us on Twitter @Aerohive, subscribe to our blog, join our community or become a fan on our Facebook page.

 “Aerohive” is a registered trademark of Aerohive Networks, Inc. All product and company names used herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.  All rights reserved.