International calls hamper business productivity

Conducting critical business via the phone with overseas clients and customers is an everyday occurrence for some businesses, but is it affecting productivity?

According to a recent survey of 300 employees by mobile communications provider Truphone, this could be the case, with the results showing that international communication costs are a constant problem for organisations operating in foreign markets or that regularly send staff abroad.

More than a fifth (21.5 per cent) of respondents indicated issues with communications between employees, clients and business partners. Those surveyed also said they had problems connecting to internal network resources or cloud computing while they were overseas.

Businesses can also miss out on important trade opportunities as customers and suppliers can't reach the organisation, a further setback to both efficiency and productivity.

Nearly half (47.7 per cent) of respondents said they couldn't work due to connectivity problems overseas and 40.4 per cent said alternative devices inhibit productivity. 

A fifth (20 per cent) of respondents even said their employer had placed restrictions on international calls while overseas, so they were forced to only use email when travelling internationally. This meant communication back to the office was slower and tasks weren't completed on time.

Truphone senior vice president for Asia Pacific, Alex Ip, explained one major Australian business example and shared some of the pitfalls of operating in foreign markets.

"The impact of restricted international communications on Australian business productivity is staggering – for both the productivity of employees, and to the business itself," he said.

"With one businesses reporting the loss of a $500,000 account due to restricted access to communications while travelling, it's evident that businesses are suffering."

Overseas communication requirements are similar to productivity software processes. They have to be streamlined and consistent so employees can conduct business quickly and efficiently.

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