In the spring of 2020, millions of workers in America were suddenly asked to work from home if possible. Of those who were employed and didn’t work from home already, 57.7% reported that they had recently begun working from home in April 2020.
Almost overnight, the number of remote workers went from 4.7 million to an estimated 85 million. This is stressing networks, application providers, and IT teams like yours who need to optimize these workers’ productivity.
Home internet connections that were once a desert from 8am to 5pm are now flooded with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Bluejeans, Office365, email, and VOIP traffic. In truth, the trend was already toward working from home. The number of remote workers grew 44% over the last five years with no sign of slowing.
Pushing Residential ISPs to Their Limits IT departments asked to support remote workers are challenged by residential ISP networks. The business network was wholly in their control. Now, the users are connecting from a mix of ISPs through cable, DSL, and fiber – perhaps even satellite and microwave. However home office workers connect, network administrators no longer have visibility into usage patterns, performance issues, and sources of problems. People working from home suddenly need more than a reliable connection to their network. They need reliability AND performance, as both significantly impact their ability to get work done. Even the “fastest” home network connection available will often leave users with laggy and choppy video conferences. However, there are ways to identify problems and improve the home office experience