Frost & Sullivan Data Shows Headsets Increasingly Popular in the Workplace

May 16, 2016

Here at Frost & Sullivan, we recently completed our latest survey of IT decision makers about their use of communications in the enterprise. A few significant trends continue apace, as they have for the past few years:

  • The virtual workplace is a reality at most organizations, with more than half of all employees working outside a traditional corporate office;
  • Companies still want to better integrate their unified communications and collaboration (UCC) tools;
  • IT leaders continue to embrace BYOT, even as they increasingly struggle with the challenges it presents.

The most recent survey, of more than 400 IT decision makers in the United States, reveals that as UC&C adoption increases, headsets are among the most commonly deployed communications tools in the enterprise. Sixty-four percent of companies have already deployed headsets to some or all of their employees (that’s up from 44 percent two years ago), and another 18 percent expect to do so within the next three years.

In almost a quarter of those organizations, headsets are given to all employees; in 36 percent of companies they are deployed to employees based on their job role; in four percent of organizations they are deployed to employees based on their geographic location; and in only one percent of organizations are they deployed only to managers and executives.

Headsets also get used more frequently than most other unified communications technologies, likely because they support so many core UCC applications, such as audio and video conferencing. Forty percent of users rely on their headsets throughout the day; another 17 percent use them at least daily. That puts headsets behind only instant messaging and smartphones when it comes to UCC tools that are relied on so regularly to get work done.

And employees like their headsets, too. Almost 50 percent rate the devices as “very important,” or “important,” putting them ahead of softphones, unified messaging, social media, and even IP telephony. The biggest perceived benefit for headsets is improved productivity, followed by attracting and retaining employees, improving collaboration, and attracting and retaining customers.

Most organizations don’t bother to measure the return on investment (ROI) for the headsets they deploy—rather, the technology is generally seen as necessary to get work done. But the data does show that budgets for headsets are expected to increase by around 10 percent year over year; it is likely that more employees will receive corporate-issued devices, rather than, say, the same employees upgrading to more expensive (and feature-rich) headsets as needed. That’s because as more employees use softphones and conferencing, they need headsets that leave their hands free and deliver an excellent audio experience.

Recommendation: As businesses look to deploy headsets throughout their organization, they should consider best-in-class UCC peripherals from providers such as Logitech, Plantronics, and others. 

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Melanie Turek


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