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Avaya Survey Shows that More and More Workers Are On Call 24/7

11-24-2004
  • Avaya urges UK workers to take control of their communications to get better work/life balance

UK workers are increasingly likely to be on call 24/7 according to a survey conducted by Avaya.

UK workers are increasingly likely to be on call 24/7 according to a survey conducted by Avaya Inc. (NYSE:AV), a leading global provider of business communications software, systems and services. Seven out of ten office workers in the UK receive work-related calls outside office hours more than once a week  the highest rate in Europe.

Increasingly, workers are being frustrated by the amount of time spent in the office trying to reach customers and colleagues. Nearly half of workers say they often send e-mails to chase voice-mails, or make a phone call to draw attention to an e-mail that they had sent. What is more, 68 percent of workers regularly miss important calls or messages because people do not know the best way to reach them  despite the fact that 70 percent of office workers have more than two communication devices, such as a mobile phone, PDA or pager.

Reducing the amount of time wasted making and chasing calls could dramatically improve the work/life balance for UK workers. By ensuring that time is spent more productively during work hours means that employees are less likely to have to take work home. When asked what they would do with an extra hour's leisure time each day, 71 percent of respondents said they would like to spend more time with their family or partner. British workers were more health conscious than workers in other countries  43 percent said they would use the extra time to go to the gym or play sport. Outside the UK, workers said they would like more free time to enjoy hobbies such as woodwork, needlework and pottery.

Also, the research shows that UK employers are leading the way alongside the US in flexible working. 75 percent believe that flexible working improves their sense of work/life balance and seven in ten workers said that their employers trust them to telecommute  this figure is more than twice that of those surveyed in Germany, Brazil and Russia.

These figures show that although today's workers have a choice of communications technologies at their fingertips, they are actually spending longer trying to get in touch with people. This means that more and more workers are finding themselves on-call 24 hours a day 7 days a week, taking business calls outside office hours. Avaya believes that if UK workers could communicate more effectively, they could enjoy a better work/life balance.

One possible solution is SIP (session initiation protocol), a technology that allows workers to choose how they would like to receive incoming calls  whether by e-mail, instant message, text message or voice call. SIP technology has been developed by a global Internet industry standards body, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to ensure that their employees can get in touch with the right people at the right time, using the device of their choice.

Alastair Reid, Partnership Manager, DTI's Achieving Best Practice in your business said: "New technologies and changes in attitude towards the traditional boundaries of work and home life are opening the doors to more flexible ways of working. Technology now allows instant communication with colleagues wherever they are, either at home or on the move. However it is important that employees and employers see this as an enabler that provides real opportunities for the future for work to fit in better with other parts of people's lives, benefiting both inpiduals and organisations and not a burden."

"Our research shows that employers and workers really need to take control of their communication. Although it is important to maintain productivity, it is also essential to be able to make sure that business does not infringe too heavily on employees' personal lives and interests." said Clive Sawkins, Vice-President Avaya UK and Ireland. "Intelligent converged networks with rules built into them and smart technologies for mobile workers, such as unified communication, will make a big difference, providing choice to people on how they want to communicate at any given time and with any device."

Notes to Editors
Research was conducted by Vanson Bourne in October 2004. 600 managerial level business contacts in commercial organisations were interviewed evenly across Australia, Brazil, Germany, Russia, UK and USA. Avaya will be publishing it's global research report 'Working to communicate Better in Business' in January 2005.

Vanson Bourne surveyed 100 managerial level business contacts in commercial organisations in each of the target countries, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Russia, UK and USA. The commercial organisations had to have a minimum of 200 employees.

In Australia, UK and USA the survey was conducted online, using a qualified panel of business contacts. Screening questions were used to determine the respondent's appropriateness for the survey. In Brazil, Germany and Russia, where online surveying has lower acceptance levels, telephone interviews were used to gather the data. Again respondents were screened to ensure their qualification.

About Avaya
Avaya Inc. designs, builds and manages communications networks for more than one million businesses worldwide, including over 90 percent of the FORTUNE 500®. Focused on businesses large to small, Avaya is a world leader in secure and reliable Internet Protocol telephony systems and communications software applications and services.

Driving the convergence of voice and data communications with business applications  and distinguished by comprehensive worldwide services  Avaya helps customers leverage existing and new networks to achieve superior business results. For more information visit the Avaya Web site: http://www.avaya.com

About Vanson Bourne
Incorporated in 1999, Vanson Bourne is a specialist IT market research consultancy, whose clients range from global corporations to small, highly specialised start-ups. Its goal is to provide research expertise and market insight using analysis and advice based on incisive and rigorous research into their market environment. These rely on the confidential contributions of qualified IT and Business professionals in organisations of all types, around the world. Vanson Bourne's experience encompasses researching both IT and Business professionals in all business sectors and geographies from Europe to Africa and from AsiaPac to the USA.

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