HR Tech Number of the Day: collaboration tools

Tech adoption is a "major byproduct" of the pandemic, according to a new study.
By: | April 15, 2021 • 2 min read

2,872%: Increase in percentage of use of video conferencing tools across Verizon networks in spring 2021, compared to before the pandemic

Zoom fatigue has become a real consideration for many employers whose workers are in remote or hybrid situations—however, according to new data from communication giant Verizon, use of online collaboration tools across its network continues to hit record highs.

Through its network data usage, Verizon found that use of collaboration tools, including video conferencing, is 2,872% greater today than before the pandemic. The stat pairs with findings of a recent Verizon survey of 3,000 Americans, which revealed the continued pervasiveness of remote work—and the technology supporting it.

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For instance, 54% of those surveyed are working remotely at least part-time, compared to just 28% before the pandemic. Verizon network data also shows traffic across secure networks like VPNs has climbed 91% compared to pre-pandemic levels.

In addition to collaboration and connectivity tools, the survey also highlighted the need for tech to support workers on the go: Three-quarters of those surveyed said they are more mobile while working remotely, and two out of three plan to travel or work in non-traditional spaces while working remotely.

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What that means for HR leaders

As remote work became the norm over the last year, many companies “invested significant resources into technology to ensure the continued operations of their business,” Verizon’s study authors wrote. And the need for that investment is likely to continue: Among employees who have worked at least part of the time remotely in the last year, 70% are eager to stay remote at least one or two days a week. Only one-quarter want to return full-time to the office. Half of the respondents said they actually would consider leaving their job in order to retain a remote or hybrid arrangement.

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Kyle Malady, chief technical officer at Verizon, says the dynamics around remote work have advanced digital transformation—in workplaces and in Americans’ home lives—forward five to seven years. Given worker sentiment around continued remote work, that underscores the need for robust work-from-home technology strategies.

“The pandemic has forced all of us to face challenges we never considered,” Malady says. “A year into the pandemic, data usage on Verizon networks remains at almost 31% above pre-pandemic levels, a clear indicator that internet consumption and the acceleration of technology adoption are major byproducts of this moment.”

Jen Colletta is managing editor at HRE. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in writing from La Salle University in Philadelphia and spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter and editor before joining HRE. She can be reached at hreletters@lrp.com.