Six Degrees Group: British Industry Risks Losing Productivity Gains Offered by the Smart Device Revolution

‘Bringing your own device to work could make British firms more competitive, but many won’t touch it'

LONDON--()--British firms risk losing out on significant employee productivity gains due to old-fashioned attitudes towards embracing new technologies, from iPhones and iPads to Android smart phones and tablets, in the workplace. This is the conclusion of a survey commissioned by Six Degrees Group, a UK managed data service provider serving Britain’s mid-sized businesses.

The survey, conducted by research firm Vanson Bourne, found widely differing attitudes between businesses and their employees towards the growing ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) to work phenomenon. 200 businesses and 200 employees across the UK were surveyed.

The vast majority (78%) of employees believe that their own personal devices are superior to those provided by their employer. If they were able to use their own devices for work, employees estimate they would be at least seven percent more productive, and in many cases far higher.

The survey also found that most (84 percent) employees believe using their own device at work would place no extra burden on IT support, with almost a third more likely to troubleshoot problems themselves. Together, these findings suggest a compelling case for BYOD in the workplace.

Alastair Mills, CEO of Six Degrees Group, believes that the latest BYOD findings should have been great news for UK business. He said: “We’ve clearly reached a tipping point in technology: for the first time ever, our personal tech is better than our work tech. The trend towards BYOD reflects the fact that the UK has become one of the most connected, always on, societies and we now have technology at our fingertips that can make us even more successful.”

However, despite the opportunity to British industry from the BYOD phenomenon, almost half (48%) of UK firms refuse to allow employees to connect their own personal devices to the corporate network. When asked if they might reconsider their position towards BYOD the answer was, at least for now, a resounding no (87%).

Even when faced with the possibility of BYOD increasing productivity and profits while reducing IT helpdesk costs, only a small minority (9%) softened their stance. For most of these firms, BYOD is not an option with, ironically, 29% citing lost productivity as one of the top concerns.

An entrepreneur at heart, Mills said he was staggered by these statistics and the attitude. He said: “The employees of British businesses are innovating furiously: they’re adopting smart phones, smart devices and public cloud services that are changing their lives. Meanwhile, UK plc still thinks and acts like it’s the 1990s, despite the fact that employees are willing to do more work, in their own time, at their own expense. Businesses that actively opt out of BYOD do so at their own commercial peril.”

At present, less than a third of employees (29%) say that their employer permits BYOD in the workplace. This is in spite of the fact that more than three-quarters (76%) of employees have their own smart phone or other computing device that could be used in the workplace.

Reflecting today’s ‘always connected’ society, almost half of all employees (48%) would like to use their own devices to access work applications like email when they are not at their desk or out of the office. Concerns that being connected to work through their own devices would have a negative impact on work/life balance were unfounded according to almost two-thirds (62%) of employees.

Despite the optimism and positivity of employees towards BYOD in general, most are resigned to using bog standard technology provided by their employer. Perhaps not wishing to rock the corporate boat, almost three-quarters (74%) say they are happy with what their employer provides them with, despite most (78%) believing their work technology to be inferior.

Based on the survey findings, Mills argued that while giving somebody a mobile phone and a laptop 10 years ago was a perk of the job these days it’s now more likely to be a waste of money, a hindrance to optimum productivity and, ultimately, a drain on profits.

Mills concluded: “Employees are much more bullish than their employers about the benefits of using innovative technology at work - they think it will make them more productive, innovative, creative and competitive. BYOD technology can play an enabling and empowering role in British business, but only if British business is prepared to adopt it.”

For a full copy of the survey “BYOD to the workplace; can British business be more productive?” please contact:

About Six Degrees Group

Six Degrees Group is a privately owned managed data services provider serving UK mid-market customers. The Group has a converged services portfolio – including data centre, connectivity, voice and cloud offerings – designed to help companies meet the challenges of a connected, always-on world.


Touchdown PR
James Carter/Emily Gallagher
01252 717040

Release Summary

British firms risk losing out on significant employee productivity gains due to old-fashioned attitudes towards embracing new technologies, from iPhones and iPads to Android smart phones and tablets.


Touchdown PR
James Carter/Emily Gallagher
01252 717040