As Britain has adapted to a new way of living, Generation WFH (Work From Home), encompassing all age groups, has been born. However, with reliance on internet connectivity in the home at an all-time high, new research from Zen Internet has found that those who experience unreliable or slow connections are being adversely affected. This means business leaders are facing a workforce that’s losing time and patience and IT Leaders are facing the challenge to solve this across large corporations.
Surveying more than 1,000 people who are currently working from home, those who have experienced an unreliable internet connection – nearly nine in 10 (89%) home workers – waste an average of just over 30 minutes a day as a result; with one in 8 of that group (12%) losing an hour or more. Overall, more than four in five that work from home (84%) revealed they have suffered from an unreliable internet connection, and similar numbers (86%) have been hit with slow internet speeds.
One of the reasons Gen WFH may be struggling with connectivity is because of increased demand for bandwidth in the household. More than half (57%) the respondents, revealed their internet has been noticeably slower as a result of other people also accessing the service while they are working.
These issues could be causing problems for business leaders, with almost half (45%) the respondents believing the impact of slow or unreliable internet connection either could cause, or is causing, frustration for staff in the business that they work for. This is just ahead of a loss of business productivity (38%) and loss of work such as documents not saved on online systems (29%).
Martin O’Donnell, Managing Director of Zen Business, said: “As a business leader, you want to ensure your employees have all the capabilities to do their job as effectively as possible, whether they come back to the office full time or not. Linking employees directly to your corporate network while also providing those in poor coverage areas with multi-connectivity solutions to bolster their internet means you can open up the benefits of office-based connectivity in their homes. This will go a long way to solving productivity issues they may be encountering caused by poor or unreliable connectivity.
“For the IT Leader it will solve the even bigger challenges of providing secure, segregated and encrypted connectivity outside the office and simplified and centralised network management.”
Striving for a future balance
Despite these challenges, lockdown has propelled workers to consider a more balanced lifestyle when it comes to where they work from. When thinking about their future working environment, over a quarter of respondents would like a work balance between the office and the home (28%), while a similar number (26%) would like to continue having the option to work from home for the rest of their career. In a warning to employers for future resourcing, over a fifth (23%) of respondents said they would choose a company that allowed working from home over one that didn’t, while one in 8 (12%) revealed they would like to return to the office on a full time basis.
O’Donnell continued: “The pandemic has changed so much and while working from home may have initially been strange to a lot of people, for many it’s now the norm. It seems many are keen to keep that work-life balance as more companies start bringing their people back to the office. The most successful businesses will be the ones that put the plans in place to get the most out of their people, from any location.”
In addition to Zen’s business broadband services, the communications provider is launching HomeWorker SD-WAN offering additional connectivity services that will meet the evolving needs of a large business and its employees. The remote worker solution integrates into an existing corporate network and provides a secure extension into the home or to other remote locations, using software defined WAN technology. It provides IT Leaders a secure path to extend a corporate network to meet the demand of the new work culture while also giving Gen WFH optimal performance when using business critical applications that are essential to successfully connect, collaborate and work remotely.