SOURCE: Plantronics, Inc.

November 18, 2008 08:00 ET

The High Cost of Travel Is Changing the Way We Work, Collaborate and Communicate

Plantronics Study Shows 36% of Knowledge Workers Are Travelling Less and 40% Are Spending More Time in Teleconferences

SANTA CRUZ, CA--(Marketwire - November 18, 2008) - The high cost of travel is changing how businesses and their employees work, communicate and collaborate, according to a survey sponsored by Plantronics, Inc. (NYSE: PLT). The study revealed that many companies have significantly reduced business travel due to rising fuel costs over the past year, while more people work from home at least once a week. At the same time, many knowledge workers now spend more time on the phone to maintain effective communication.

The study, conducted by research firm TNS, revealed that over the past year 42 percent of knowledge workers have seen declines in corporate travel, while 40 percent of those surveyed spent more time in teleconferences, and 30 percent have increased the amount of time they telecommute. When quizzed about ergonomic issues, more respondents (33 percent) complained about neck and shoulder pain than any other health related condition from using the phone, computer or other office equipment for extended periods of time.

"A shift is occurring in the way businesses operate in trying economic times," said Chuck Yort, vice president and general manager of Business Solutions at Plantronics. "Many corporations have worked to find cost effective ways for employees to communicate and connect with colleagues and customers, a trend that was sparked by high travel costs and has been accelerated by the uncertain financial climate. As a result, we anticipate an increased use of collaboration tools to reduce operational expenses and to help professionals work efficiently."

Additional findings from the survey of more than 500 knowledge workers included the following:

Reduced Business Travel

--  More than one-third of individual employees were traveling less on
    business over the past year, with 42 percent of that group reporting their
    corporate travel had been cut in half
--  Executives (those with the title of vice president or higher) were
    much more likely to report a reduction in business travel than other
    professionals
    

Increased Use of Teleconferences and Collaboration Tools

--  Four out of ten knowledge workers reported they spend more time in
    teleconferences over the past 12 months
    --  Knowledge workers participate in an average of four conference
        calls of 30 minutes or longer per week
    --  One fourth of respondents participate in more than five conference
        calls that last one-half hour or longer each week
--  Nearly one-third of respondents, (32 percent) reported increased
    participation and use of Web-based meetings and Web conferences
--  More than one out of five reported an increase in their use of Unified
    Communication tools

Increase in Remote Working

--  Knowledge workers work from home an average of 1.4 days a week,
    compared with one day per week one year ago
--  Among the 40 percent of respondents reporting an increase in the time
    they spend working from home:
    --  Half of the respondents who work from home at least one day per
        week feel their productivity increases when telecommuting compared
        to working at the office
    --  Half telecommute to save money on transportation costs, primarily
        gas and fuel

Ergonomic Implications

--  The top health condition resulting from extended use of the phone,
    computer and other office equipment was neck pain
--  Respondents reporting neck pain were more likely to work in the
    IT/MIS/IS department (19 percent vs. 9 percent for non-IT positions)
--  Nearly twice as many respondents complained about neck and shoulder
    pain compared with those who reported carpal tunnel syndrome (33 percent
    compared to 19 percent)
    

A New Term for Remote Workers

The survey reported that just over half (52%) of all respondents work from home at least one day a week. In a related initiative, Plantronics solicited suggestions from people to rename the term "telecommuter." The online contest, dubbed TeleWho? generated approximately 500 submissions from across the country. Independent judges helped select ten finalist terms based on their originality, relevance and lasting impact. Almost 2,200 votes were submitted over a two week period, resulting in the term "Cloudworker" as the new term for people who work from home.

For more information about Plantronics' communication solutions for businesses and cloudworkers, please visit www.plantronics.com.

About Plantronics

In 1969, a Plantronics headset carried the historic first words from the moon: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Since then, Plantronics has become the headset of choice for mission-critical applications such as air traffic control, 911 dispatch and the New York Stock Exchange. Today, this history of innovation is the basis for every audio product we build for the office, contact center, personal mobile, entertainment and residential markets. The Plantronics family of brands includes Plantronics, Altec Lansing and Clarity. For more information, go to www.plantronics.com or call (800) 544-4660.

About TNS

TNS is a global market information and insight group. Its strategic goal is to be recognized as the global leader in delivering value-added information and insights that help its clients make more effective business decisions. TNS delivers innovative thinking and excellent service across a network of 80 countries. Working in partnership with clients, TNS provides high-quality information, analysis and insight that improves understanding of consumer behavior. TNS is the world's leading provider of customized services, combining sector knowledge with expertise in the areas of Product Development & Innovation, Brand & Communications, Stakeholder Management and Retail & Shopper. TNS is a major supplier of consumer panel, media intelligence and audience measurement services. TNS is a Kantar Group company. For more information go to www.tns-us.com

Altec Lansing, Clarity and Plantronics are trademarks or registered trademarks of Plantronics, Inc.

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