Statistics on UK phone use have revealed that fewer business calls are made on a Friday than any other working day in the week. The statistics also show that business phone use reaches its daily peak in the morning.
The figures track over five million calls made by 13,000 business users of internet phones, a rapidly-growing means of communication by small businesses. Released by internet services provider Gradwell, the statistics cover the first six months of 2009.
The findings reveal that phones are used most on Tuesdays, with 20 per cent of business calls made, closely followed by Wednesdays (19.9 per cent) and Thursdays (19.5 per cent). In contrast just 18.3 per cent of calls are made on Mondays and 17.4 on Fridays. The percentage of Friday calls is lowest in Birmingham, at just 16.1 per cent. Interestingly however, Belfast is the only city to buck the trend, making the least number of business calls on Monday rather than Friday.
Focusing on phone use per hour, the evidence shows that 12 per cent of calls are made between 10am and 11am, and 12.2 per cent between 11am and 12 noon. Businesses in Newcastle and Devon go against the grain here however, with calls reaching a peak in the afternoon.
Overall, 20.4 per cent of calls are made locally and 23.9 per cent to mobile phone numbers.
The average duration of a call is just under three minutes (166 seconds). Comparing regional breakdowns shows phone calls in Manchester lasted longest on average (194 seconds) and phone calls in Devon lasted just 132 seconds.
Internet-based Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones enable users to make calls to any other telephone number via an internet connection. VoIP phones are growing in popularity as calls to mobiles and landlines are typically 20 per cent less than traditional services and calls to other VoIP phones are free. VoIP also offers additional benefits such as voicemail-to-text and the ability to use a standard landline number from any location. Gradwell itself has over 50,000 VoIP lines active, most of which are used by small businesses.
Managing Director Peter Gradwell commented: “The rapid growth in use of VoIP by small businesses means that we’re now able to track trends based on a significant volume of data. It’s particularly interesting to us therefore to see the differences in use of VoIP throughout the country. One of the advantages of VoIP is that users can use their own landline number wherever they’re located. That does mean that it’s easy to make phone calls from home outside normal working hours, although there are significant differences in the times different regions seem to work.
“Our historical data shows that many of the trends we’ve identified this year were present in 2008 and 2007. As the wealth of data continues to develop though, we intend to repeat this exercise over time and track further trends as they emerge.”