Hold the phone: calls annoying the whole office

We all have our own particular pet peeves when it comes to the office, but it seems that phone calls are universally hated.

A survey conducted by Jabra has found that up to 40 percent of Australian workers are avoiding phone calls in favour of sending emails in order to keep noise levels in the office down.

“Working in an open plan office is a great way to enhance team work, creativity, and information sharing. However organisations need to make sure this increase in interaction does not impact employee productivity,” says Soren Schoennemann, managing director of Jabra ANZ.

The survey found that increased chatter in open or semi-open office means 40 percent of employees are raising their voices to be heard, almost 30 percent are missing details during phone calls, and 21 percent are having longer phone calls.

Talking loudly across the office space was found to be the most irritating for 44 percent of workers, followed by interruptions from colleagues and personal phone calls.

The survey also found that workers are choosing to work from other locations away from their desk both in and outside the office to avoid noise.

45 percent of respondents said they try to work from meeting rooms or quiet rooms, with 43 percent working from home, and 22 percent working out of their customers’ office.

Schoennemann believes improvements in technology mean businesses should be more agile and equip employees with new tools.

“We’re certain that the benefits of unified communication tools, such as greater collaboration, increased productivity, and more efficient business processes, will become readily apparent as companies move forward using them,” she says.

Such tools include phone headsets, with up to half the workers surveyed reporting fewer missed calls and the ability to perform tasks to a higher standard while wearing a headset.

Almost 50 percent of companies replacing their older technology with unified communication solutions reported that they expect significant increases in employee productivity.

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