Most organisations will invest in dedicated, managed connectivity for homeworkers, survey finds
- A survey of senior UK employees indicates that there is a ready market for managed home working services
- And an overwhelming majority of those surveyed expect up to half of their employees will continue to work from home over the next year
There’s been a loud chorus of support for the notion that there would be no ‘return to normal’ once the pandemic and lockdowns were over and that work patterns would prove to have been sufficiently jolted to cause major change.
What remains unknown is just how sweeping those changes will be, how quickly will they come and what they will comprise. Maybe they will be real but minimal; perhaps they will affect some sectors a lot, others hardly at all. Or perhaps they will provoke major changes.
But one thing that is agreed: Home working to some degree, is probably here to stay. It was already on the increase before the pandemic struck, but now there is an expectation that we’ll see much more of it.
Not that everyone wants to work at home all the time. But many would quite like to have a hybrid work arrangement if they could - a few days home and a few days at work, obviously assisted by technologies and services to make such arrangements viable. Likewise employers can increasingly see benefits in such arrangements.
And it’s becoming increasingly clear that the Coronavirus is not just going to disappear. Working from home may well become an intermittent necessity. The recent experience of New Zealand should be salutary. The country had watched its cases dwindle to nothing months ago, only to have a case suddenly reappear.
It knew what to do: tracking and tracing was invoked. But importantly, it backed this up with a concentrated lockdown. At a day’s notice the inhabitants of Auckland had, if they could, to work from home. No time to prepare properly, just clear the kitchen table and get back to home work for a few days.
That sort of scenario is likely to be permanant possibility for the rest of world as new variants avoid the vaccines and cause new outbreaks.
Of course this has implications for remote access and those companies, including CSPs and DSPs, who will now clearly see an opportunity in widespread home working and the technological demands it’s likely to make.
One UK company, Daisy Corporate Services, which describes itself as a leading provider of secure IT, communications and cloud services, has been surveying senior employees throughout the UK to gauge how important home working support has now become. It surveyed 350 UK businesses during November and December.
The key finding was that more than two thirds of organisations would invest in dedicated connectivity for homeworkers. It also found that home work was here to stay. The overwhelming majority of those interviewed (85%) expect up to half of their employees will continue to work from home over the next year.
But of course such a permanent migration brings with it problems and bugbears
Problems were cited with connectivity performance by 39%. And of course they also worried about cybersecurity with almost half (46%) of organisations feeling that cybersecurity risk management was an essential part of ongoing homeworking strategies.
As far as new technologies required over and above connectivity options, collaboration was found to be key. While Microsoft Teams (94%) and Zoom (78%) have been the most adopted collaboration technologies during lockdown a quarter of organisations admit that they face challenges making effective use of them.
But despite, or perhaps because of, the gotchas, there is surely a huge opportunity for DSPs looking to launch managed services into homes. A proportion of those home work supporting organisations will be looking to contract enhanced security and reliability. The opportunity must be there for specialised mobile services, first developed on 4G with slicing supported and then 5G in the future.
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