A poll of 1800 senior managers and business owners points to the dangers of work at the wheel, with two-fifths of respondents admitting they have dialled into conference calls while driving and three-quarters regularly making calls to colleagues or customers.
A fifth of those surveyed said they have held important business discussions, tantamount to a meeting requiring concentration and decision making, while one of them was driving.
More than one in ten has recorded verbal notes using their phone at the wheel.
The devastating consequences of being distracted while driving are well documented, with one study showing that those on hands-free phones are slower to break and are as affected as drunk drivers .
“Yet our research reveals just how common it is for people to put themselves – and other road users – at risk,” says John Spencer, UK CEO at workspace provider Regus, which commissioned the research.
Regus opened its first business centres on the motorway network in 2012, providing stop-off points for drivers to work, make calls, print documents or hold meetings.
Since then, each of the “big four” motorway service area operators has opened Regus Express sites to help motorists work at the roadside rather than at the wheel.
The real issue is how employers are managing their mobile workforces. Too few companies pay adequate attention to how, and where, their teams work. Training, clear rules especially in regard to mobile devices alongside practical provisions such as drop-in workspace are all essential to ensure that staff work safely and productively.