SMEs: ‘Internet issues’ are the biggest barrier to business productivity

A new study suggests that more than two thirds of UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) believe that ‘internet issues’ – such as slow broadband and website failures – are the biggest barrier to workplace productivity.

Conversely, more than three quarters (76 per cent) of SMEs consider productivity to be ‘a top priority’ for their business.

The research, which was carried out by flexible working company Storey, found that almost half (46 per cent) of SMEs regularly experience internet slowdowns and other similar issues.

A further 28 per cent of respondents said that their internet had failed completely at least once within the last week, while 40 per cent admitted that they had been plagued by slow internet speeds within the last week.

37 per cent of SME owners and decision makers said that they thought the problem was preventing them from reaching out to clients or potential new talent online.

52 per cent added that they personally spend between 11 and 40 hours every month ‘administrating their workplace’ – either by manually fixing technology failures themselves or by pursuing external IT support.

The study’s authors argue that flexible working is the key to improving business productivity.