Across the globe, business owners are making an unprecedented shift to remote working to prevent the spread of disease, without appropriate software in place.
Research conducted by iomart.com shows that search queries for key remote working solutions, including Skype, Office 365 and Microsoft Teams – have increased substantially over the past three months as business owners scramble to accommodate remote working.
Searches for Zoom have risen by 97% since January, Office 365 queries have increased by 46%, and searches for Skype have seen a18% uplift. The majority of these searches have taken place in the last two weeks alone, as the demand for remote collaboration reaches a fever pitch.
Not only are collaboration and communication tools vital for productivity – especially as 55% of UK workers have no experience in working from home and 35% experience a drop in motivation when doing so. They are also critical to maintaining employees’ mental health during the disruptive period.
A recent survey showed that 62% of remote workers want employees to provide better technology to help them stay connected with colleagues, in order to tackle a notable reduction in sense of community, social interaction and learning from others.
Investing in collaborative technology on a mass scale at short notice can prove costly to businesses that are already experiencing a drop in revenue as a result of virus-induced disruptions.
Although the government has announced their Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, many small businesses won’t qualify for the 80% allowance based on their annual turnover – and those that will are still liable to pay 100% of the debt.
Providing cost-effective communication and collaboration solutions are vital to help business owners navigate unfamiliar remote working, and adapt to what looks to be a permanent shift to flexible working.
Thomas Lynch, Senior Marketing Manager of iomart.com comments: “Our analysis of the Google search trend data shows that the demand for office solution software is huge due to the monumental increase in remote working due to COVID-19, and our website data here at iomart.com also reflects this.
In the last month alone, we have seen a huge 663% increase in unique visitor traffic to our Virtual Desktop service page alone, and a further 205% increase in traffic to our Office 365 product page, both of which offer cloud-based solutions.”