New research has suggested British businesses may be so reliant on the internet that their workers experience negative emotional reactions when it fails.
According to a poll of more than 500 UK-based organisations by internet service provider Beaming, 42 per cent of companies experienced at least one failure in their broadband during 2018 that prevented them trading or accessing vital services.
Interestingly, 74 per cent of managers polled said they had witnessed one or more negative emotional responses among their employees as a result of this.
Almost a third reported impatience, while 24 per cent noted an increase in restlessness and inability to concentrate as staff struggled to reconnect or find jobs to do offline.
In what might be concerning to business owners though, 21 per cent of respondents said their employees had become angrier when their internet connection failed and 14 per cent felt workers were more likely to overreact to what others had to say.
Only 13 per cent of leaders were able to report internet outages making staff more relaxed because they were taking the chance to enjoy the downtime.
Managing director of Beaming Sonia Blizzard said: "Rock solid, reliable internet connectivity is critical for businesses now - the majority of companies simply can't manage without it. There can be no surprise that many people respond emotionally when the internet fails because it impacts directly on their productivity and ability to do their jobs."
According to a recent report by HootSuite and We Are Social, 57 per cent of the global population is now connected to the internet, with the average person spending 6.5 hours a day online.
The news follows a report presented at the British Psychological Society earlier this year, which found 'always-on' employees tend to be more engaged at work but display greater stress and a poorer work-life balance.