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Here's how much money companies are wasting on free Wi-Fi

Is asking staff members to use free Wi-Fi when on their travels a good idea in terms of saving some money for your business? Apparently not, and according to the latest research, this is actually quite a costly policy when you look deep into the numbers…

The report, which was highlighted by Enterprise Apps Tech, and produced by Rethink Technology Research (commissioned by iPass) found that business travellers in the US and Europe wasted a staggering amount of money in connectivity charges last year.

During 2014, business travellers from both continents made a total of 78 million international business trips. The report notes that the cost of keeping these travellers connected via 3G or 4G roaming data, pay on demand Wi-Fi and free Wi-Fi would be at least £1.44 billion – and if they all had access to a paid upfront unlimited global Wi-Fi network, savings of around £855 million would be achieved.

Free Wi-Fi often suffers from sluggish speeds which can impact business apps and therefore productivity, and ultimately the bottom line. It also represents a major security risk as we are all doubtless aware.

Peter White, Principal Analyst and Founder, Rethink Technology Research, commented: "It may be counter intuitive, but using Free Wi-Fi is one of the most expensive things you can ask your employees to do. There are long periods, like In-Flight, when they cannot work, or where they are wandering around looking for a free connection.

“Also, around 50% of hotels who say they offer free Wi-Fi charge a premium for a service fast enough to actually work on. Employees forced to go down this route certainly won't be as productive as they should be and they may well feel underappreciated and be more likely to leave."