Work-from-home (WFH) and collaboration trends jump started by the pandemic aren’t going away, according to the latest Futurum Research survey, with large businesses continuing to support WFH in various degrees regardless of the industry. The organization surveyed 525 key decision-makers across important industry verticals, identifying which businesses had an official WFH policy today and those who are providing support on an informal basis without an established policy.
“Almost two thirds are still improvising how they’re going to best approach this new task post-pandemic,” said Ron Westfall, Research Director & Senior Analyst, Futurum Research. “The top industry verticals that responded who have an official unified approach included financial services such as banking and insurance companies, manufacturing and construction, retail consumer goods, automotive and transportation, and finally media communications.”
While manufacturing and construction may seem to be counterintuitive WFH users, there are good reasons why the industries are involved in the practice. “We’re seeing trends such as AI and automation playing a more important role,” Westfall said. “Also we’re seeing an uptick in video surveillance and other similar video capabilities allowing decision makers to maintain a work from home presence, a remote presence, even for the manufacturing segment.”
The vast majority of businesses are now either in a WFH or hybrid mode, providing benefits both to workers and businesses, even if WFH is not defined as official company policy. “The workforce is jazzed by the opportunity to work more from home, something that I think is improving productivity,” said Westfall. “I believe it's something that is raising morale across the board, aligning with preferences of the workers out there. We can all understand people prefer not to have a daily commute, it's a hassle. It can be a time suck because of traffic jams and so forth.” Reducing commuting time provides a benefit to businesses by contributing to sustainability goals of organizations by helping to reduce carbon emissions, improving energy efficiency.
Fiber is desired by businesses because it is more secure than other media and provides symmetrical and faster connections than other alternatives, making the WFH experience both better for the user and less problematic for the organization. Westfall said organizations need to prioritize full fiber use cases to optimize WFH and collaboration implementations while service providers need to prioritize full fiber benefits to secure more WFH business, including the ability to ensure consistent WFH experiences as well as differentiating fiber from other broadband alternatives.
Hear all of Ron Westfall’s remarks on the latest Fiber for Breakfast podcast.