Accelerated out of necessity by the pandemic, the shift to a remote workforce has made a significant impact on business operations around the world. In the U.S. alone, upwards of 70 percent of the workforce was working from home in April 2020 during the early days of the pandemic. Now as cities continue to open and vaccination numbers continue to rise, Upwork’s “Future of Workforce Pulse Report” projects 26.7 percent of the U.S. workforce will be fully remote in 2021, a number that suggests that individuals will gradually continue to return to the office. Yet, the survey estimates by 2025, 36.2 million Americans will be remote – nearly double the pre-pandemic rates.
With so many companies permanently adopting a partial or fully-remote workforce moving forward, how does this change in corporate operations impact data? Our experts weigh in.
“With so much data being both consumed and created locally, our homes have essentially become the new edge – where we now work, study, game and entertain. Simultaneously, new next-gen technologies such as IoT-enabled devices, autonomous vehicles, machine learning and AI tools, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), and smart city applications, to name a few, are also being developed and deployed. This all generates significant service delivery challenges on networks and CDN’s. The solution to these network bottlenecks lies in edge data centers – where network, cloud and content service providers can peer and optimize their traffic flows for both performance and cost.”
“The movement towards distributed workforces was gathering momentum before Covid. The pandemic simply accelerated it. The companies that have been doing it well since long before Covid recognized the need for employees to commit to writing down key issues, decisions, and results. That transparency of operational data allows for people to be productive no matter where they happen to be.”
“For a long time, enterprise and commercial broadband services were simply better than most residential services, from upload speeds, latency, and SLAs. Consumers had certain expectations about their services at work. Now that more people are working from home, it has become clear that for many users, DSL, and even cable modem services are not meeting people’s needs for connectivity at home. Fiber to the home (FTTH) is the best service to support working from home as upload bandwidth becomes just as important as download speeds for video conferencing, collaboration, and file sharing. CMA sees the same dynamic in the U.S., the U.K., Europe, and AsiaPac regions as operators and governments rush to connect more homes to FTTH networks. CMA expects (and is working with clients to implement) massive new investment in fiber to the home all around the globe.”
“Work from Home (WFH) has created a dynamic where network administrators must carefully consider where their data is stored and how to let employees access it. If a WFH employee needs to access data stored on the corporate network, they have the potential of creating a backdoor into the corporate network that can be exploited by hackers looking to steal data or implement a ransomware attack. Therefore, network admins must implement proper network security protocols both on the corporate level and WFH level, treating WFH as a satellite office rather than a simple home network. Hackers have adapted to the new corporate structures and are very capable of exploiting it.”
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