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Kiwi Workers Want More Time to Manage Workloads

03-21-2005

An international report published by AC Nielsen today shows that 58per cent of New Zealand managers would choose to stay at work ifcommunication technology allowed them to complete their workload anhour earlier every day.

An international report published by AC Nielsen today shows that 58 per cent of New Zealand managers would choose to stay at work if communication technology allowed them to complete their workload an hour earlier every day.

Avaya Inc. (NYSE:AV) a leading global provider of business communications software, systems and services - released its Working to Communicate Better in Business report in Auckland today, which surveyed 650 managers worldwide in countries including New Zealand, Australia, US, UK, Germany, Brazil and Russia.

Of the countries surveyed, New Zealanders were most likely to keep working (58 per cent) whereas Australians (36 per cent) were least likely to stay on if improved telecommunications made them more productive.

Speaking at the New Zealand launch of survey results, Avaya solutions development manager Robbie Kruger said the report supports the notion that Kiwi workers feel pressure to keep up with growing work loads as the current skills shortfall challenges New Zealand businesses to find ways to increase productivity.

"This is a sharp reminder to employers that they must get the work/life balance right in the workplace if they want to keep good people, particularly at a time when we have the lowest unemployment rate in decades and major skill shortages," he said.

The survey findings indicate one of the major reasons Kiwis feel "swamped" at work is poor convergence between office phones and mobile phones, with 32 per cent of respondents saying they had picked up important messages late at least once a week.

Further, 30 per cent of New Zealanders surveyed said they had experienced revenue loss due to not being able to contact key people when they needed to.

The survey also identified a lack of sophisticated communications management as detrimental to a good work/life balance in other ways, with 94 per cent of New Zealanders regularly receiving calls outside of work hours. This compared to an average of 48 per cent, 58 per cent in the US and as few as 35 per cent in Germany.

New Zealanders were also unique in that they said the most important benefit of better converged mobile telephony would be allowing better communication with staff and customers, rather than improved customer service and never missing deals. Meanwhile, Australians (58 per cent), UK (51 per cent) and the US (45 per cent) said satisfying customers was the most important benefit.

"This result implies that there are significant communication barriers for workers - particularly between employers and employees. If New Zealand is to meet increasing productivity demands, the first thing businesses need to ensure is that staff have the tools to communicate effectively with each other and customers," Mr Kruger said.

Other useful survey findings included:

  • Kiwis spend more time receiving calls and e-mails from staff and colleagues (76 per cent) than customers (16 per cent). Worldwide the proportion of calls and e-mails from staff and colleagues was 41 per cent, while customer enquiries accounted for 31 per cent.
  • 95 per cent of New Zealand employers surveyed trust their staff to telecommute (work from home or the road) while worldwide only 59 per cent of employers trusted employees to work from home if effective communication systems were in place - the figure was even lower in Australia at 58 per cent.
  • 60 per cent of Kiwi bosses believe allowing staff to telecommute improves productivity, but worldwide only 55 per cent thought the same.

Better communications technology - using Internet Protocol (IP) Telephony - is not only dramatically less expensive as a business overhead, it enables staff to manage their communications more effectively both in the office and out of the office. It is estimated that working more smartly can save more than an hour a day, time that can be better spent achieving a good work/life balance.

The research was launched in New Zealand today as Avaya embarks on a roadshow to educate New Zealand employers on ways in which better communications technology can liberate workers to enjoy more balance between work and leisure.

Notes for Editors
Global IT market researcher Vanson Bourne surveyed 600 managerial level business contacts in commercial organisations in Australia, Brazil, Germany, Russia, UK and USA. The commercial organisations had a minimum of 200 employees.

In New Zealand, AC Nielsen interviewed 50 managing directors, general managers and IT managers of companies in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch on February 16 and 17. Companies with less than 100 employees were excluded and all respondents were office workers, management level or above, mobile on a regular basis and carried at least one technology device when away from the office.

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 ACNielsen
ACNielsen is the world's leading provider of market research, and the New Zealand branch is the largest market research company in this country. ACNielsen (NZ) Ltd provides the most extensive range of market research services including customised research and media measurement.

ACNielsen won six Awards at the 2002 New Zealand Market Research Society Effectiveness Awards, including the overall supreme and innovation awards.

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