As we’ve watched the business world conduct more transformation in these last two weeks than many have been able to muster up in years, there are a few things I find interesting.
I wrote earlier that I thought work from home would become a whole lot more popular, now that we are all going to figure out how to make it work for a large number of employees. For years the real drag on remote work has been management’s unwillingness to allow it. To not trust their employees to continue working and getting things done when they aren’t right there. This pandemic has forced them to set that aside and do it anyway, where a whole lot of people were going to run right smack into the other hurdle to wide-spread work from home, ISP bandwidth caps and overage charges.
To be honest, I had not really considered this until I saw the news about some ISPs and cellular companies waiving overage charges and caps for 30 days to help people forced to work from home. I’ve worked from home for years, and have never even considered getting service from an ISP that didn’t have unlimited bandwidth. Back when I was doing online classes, the company reimbursed me for business-level internet service, and even now I only considered full non-capped internet service.
Simply put, bandwidth caps and work from home are totally incompatible. The ISPs seemed to grasp that, and actively proactively to turn that off temporarily. which also showed that they could turn it off and continue to offer solid internet connections to all of their customers, but that’s an argument for another day.
No, they surely had to realize that now that businesses were going to be forced to get over their fear of work from home, it’s the ISP and broadband service that was about to be the one major hurdle to helping out during this pandemic.
But, once this is over? If we have a lot more companies and a lot more employees looking at work from home situations, to take advantage of the work-life and environmental benefits, how many are going to be halted by a lack of available unlimited internet access, or the expense involved in getting decent service to their house?
Who would have thought one of the biggest hurdles to remote work would actually be the ISPs we all deal with just to get on the internet to start with, but it is possible.