Make Sure You’re Connected

How happy about contact with family when at sea?

  • 6.96 up from 6.82

Rather surprisingly, the only question to show a positive return in the data submitted was that relating to connectivity. This is rather unexpected, as this is usually an area of dissatisfaction from seafarers.

Seafarers who commented said that “communication facilities have greatly improved over time”. However, this was tempered with the view that there is still huge scope for improvement.

Respondents said that “companies should realise that people are at peace when they are in regular touch with their families. A happy ship is a safe ship!” Which sums up the sentiment of many. The data once more bore testament to the fact that those crew who have good quality, low cost access to the internet and connectivity are far happier than those who don’t.

This is actually one of the biggest drivers of seafarer happiness. It seems that crew are willing and able to accept many things and appreciate that life at sea does come with certain issues attached. However, increasingly, they rally against a lack of connectivity.

There is a growing sense of dissatisfaction where access is denied, is slow, or is too expensive. While Masters and companies who are seen to be profiteering from charging for access come in for particularly heavy criticism.

Seafarers see connectivity and access to communications as a “necessity” and will not tolerate what has gone before. While much talk is of retention and the fact that seafarers are likely to leave the sea, there was a converse view taken in the happiness index. It was stated that when connectivity improves, then seafarers will once again love their job. Whether that is the case remains to be seen, but it seems that there is a simple answer to any downturn in recruitment and retention.

Access the latest report here: https://www.happyatsea.org/wp-content/uploads/SHI_Q4_2019.pdf

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