Internet speeds have certainly improved since the days of using Netscape and Windows 3.1. However, the impact of how slow internet affects business cannot be ignored. A business grappling with subpar internet speeds faces substantial consequences. A slow internet connection makes it difficult for employees to do their jobs and creates frustration for customers who want quick answers to their questions. If you currently have slow internet, here’s what it could be doing to your business.


Frustrated man looking at loading concept image for how slow internet affects business.


Customer Service Issues

More companies than ever are using chatbots and other online tools to increase efficiency and free up customer service professionals for other tasks. A slow internet connection makes it difficult to use these tools to their fullest, resulting in a poor customer experience. Here’s an example:

A customer needs help placing an order. They connect with an agent on your website, but the agent’s messages won’t go through due to a slow internet connection. Instead of getting the help they need, the customer ends up wasting time. Customers who can’t get help when they need it may write negative reviews about your company, return their recent purchases or vow never to buy from your business again. That’s just one of the ways a slow internet connection can hurt customers and damage your reputation.

Even if your customers’ messages make it to a customer service representative, a slow internet connection can still interfere with an employee’s ability to resolve service issues quickly. If your business has a slow internet connection, it may take several minutes for an agent to find product information or locate a recent transaction. The longer it takes to perform these tasks, the longer customers have to wait for assistance.

Difficulty Performing Job Duties

Slow internet isn’t just frustrating for customers and can make it more difficult for employees to perform their job duties. Here are just a few ways slow internet speeds can affect employees with different responsibilities:

  • Accounting: If your business uses QuickBooks or another online program for bookkeeping, it may take employees longer to enter transactions, reconcile accounts and perform other bookkeeping tasks. It may also take more time to run reports or identify accounting issues.
  • Manufacturing: Many types of manufacturing equipment now interface with computers to reduce costs and prevent errors. If your business has slow internet, employees may not be able to use their assigned machines to transform raw materials into finished goods. Delays caused by slow internet speeds may even lead to reduced productivity in the warehouse, as employees will have to wait longer to box up finished goods and hand them off to delivery drivers.
  • Human resources: Internet speed is also an important consideration for human resource professionals. Whether your business has slow internet or an unstable internet connection, internet issues affect HR employees in several ways. For example, recruiters may have difficulty screening applications or accessing contact information for qualified candidates. Your compensation administrator may not be able to complete salary adjustments in a timely manner. A slow internet speed may even prevent your payroll team from completing the payroll process on time.
  • Marketing: The marketing department relies on the internet for many of its functions. For example, your marketing manager may decide that blogging is a great way to promote your business. With a poor internet connection, it’s difficult to conduct research and publish a blog post once it’s written. Slow internet speed may also prevent marketing staff from using Google Analytics and other tools to determine if their efforts are paying off.

Poor Call Quality

Whether your business is in Japan, Hong Kong or somewhere in between, there’s a good chance you have at least one employee or supplier in a different country, increasing your reliance on VoIP technology. A fast internet connection is essential for quality video calls; otherwise, you’re likely to experience connectivity issues when you’re in the middle of an important video meeting. Videoconferences lag due to slow internet connections, so upgrading your technology can help you take advantage of VoIP technology without experiencing some of the potential drawbacks.


arrow point down showing affect of slow internet on business


Lost Revenue

Revenue loss is another negative aspect of having a slow internet connection. Small businesses and large corporations alike rely on the internet for connecting with customers, marketing their products and services, ordering supplies from vendors and performing a wide range of other tasks. If you don’t have a reliable internet connection, you may lose business revenue due to any of the following:

  • A customer gives up on placing a large order when your website times out after their third attempt to make the purchase.
  • Due to slow internet speed, you can’t place an order for raw materials as planned. By the time you place the order, the vendor’s prices have increased, leaving you with less net revenue after accounting for the increased cost of materials.
  • Unreliable internet prevents your marketing team from starting a new campaign on its scheduled launch date. As a result of the late launch, you missed your revenue target for the quarter. Professional Wi-Fi design can help you avoid some of these issues.

Reduced Employee Morale

In the workplace, morale refers to the overall spirit of the group. When morale is high, employees are more likely to be cheerful and display a willingness to perform their assigned tasks or even go above and beyond their regular duties to help the company. Low morale, in contrast, may reduce productivity and make it more difficult for employees to form positive working relationships with each other.

A slow internet connection may seem like a minor inconvenience, but it can actually reduce employee morale significantly. When employees can’t complete assigned tasks due to the lack of a reliable connection, they may experience high levels of frustration and stress. Slow connections may also make it more difficult for employees to communicate with each other, leading to increased conflict. If your small business is struggling due to low morale, don’t forget to consider slow internet as a major contributor to the problem.

Increased Costs

Slow internet can cause serious problems for businesses of all sizes. It’s clear that slow connections make it more difficult for employees to perform their duties, but you should also be aware of the potential for poor connections to increase your business costs.

When the internet is slow, employees may have to turn to manual processes to complete assigned tasks. For example, an employee in the manufacturing department may have to use hand tools instead of machinery, increasing waste and reducing the number of units that can be produced in one shift. The more waste you have, the more money your business has to spend on raw materials. If you work with a third-party web development team, you may also have to spend more on their services to account for the problems you’re having with your internet connection.


Female employee having difficulty working due to slow internet connection at the office.


High Stress Levels

Slower speeds may even contribute to high-stress levels among employees, making it difficult for workers to concentrate on their assigned tasks. One example is when a missed deadline causes another employee or department to get behind on their own work. Imagine that your marketing specialist is waiting for a graphic designer to finish a new logo or make updates to the design for a new e-commerce site. If the designer misses a deadline due to slow internet speeds, the marketing specialist won’t be able to launch the new campaign on time, making it more difficult to meet their own goals.

Slow speeds are especially stressful when employees are penalized for missing deadlines, although they have no control over the lack of a reliable internet connection. Employees may also face criticism from their peers or feel frustrated about their inability to demonstrate their value to the company. These factors come together to increase stress, which may contribute to increased conflict and other negative outcomes.

Difficulty With File Sharing

In a paperless world, employees rely on the internet for sharing important files with customers and colleagues. A slow internet connection makes it difficult to share large files, which may affect employee productivity. Employees also tend to become frustrated when they have to keep stopping to check on the status of their file transfers.

Slow file transfers are especially concerning for employees in the marketing department, as customers may give up on trying to download e-books, case studies and other marketing materials if a transfer doesn’t finish fast enough for their liking. If customers aren’t downloading new marketing materials, your business may have trouble reaching its marketing goals.


IT technicians working on network to increase the speed of internet connection.


Address Your Slow Internet Connection Today

A fast internet connection makes it easier for customers to connect with you and for employees to do their jobs. If you need an upgrade, EIRE Systems, the leading professional IT services company,  is ready to help. We offer a wide range of IT support services to businesses throughout Japan, Singapore, China and Hong Kong. Contact us to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how fast internet can promote business growth.