COVID-19 has sparked the world’s largest work from home movement. Amidst it all, technology underpins the success of remote work in today’s highly digital work environment. Yet, the switch to remote work has been challenging for more than half (52%) of the professionals across Asia Pacific, in countries such as India, Japan, Singapore and South Korea. This is according to a new regional report “Video Streaming is the New Norm for Work” from Limelight Networks that takes a close look at COVID-19’s impact on companies, assessing the role that content delivery and video streaming infrastructure has undertaken in facilitating virtual collaboration and productivity improvement.
With travel restrictions and lockdowns imposed across the country, many Indians found themselves having to work from home full-time. This required access to technology and strong network connections for the workforces to maintain productivity, retrieve and download files, and collaborate with colleagues. However, working remotely has been challenging for around 4 in 10 (43%) Indian professionals, who felt that their company’s technical infrastructure was not fully prepared for the transition.
During this period, a majority of Indians (82%) also report feeling frustrated due to network issues and latency – such as difficulties accessing the internet, uploading and downloading files, poor video quality when streaming webinars, and live content or lags and delays during video conference and calls.
Additional insights from the report include:
● Working from home increases productivity, but Indians are most likely to be working longer hours. Most (92%) of Indians agree that they have been more productive working from home, however, 30% are working longer hours, just a little lower than the regional average of 33%.
● While work from home is far more productive, Indians feel that there are obstacles such as connectivity issues. Common obstacles to productivity where Indians are worse off than the regional average include weak network resulting in internet connection issues (42%), social media and internet distractions (75%), and latency issues when streaming video content (50%).
● Technology cannot replace the human touch. A significant aspect of remote work is the reliance on technology such as team chat apps, video calls, and instant messaging platforms to communicate with colleagues. Although, 68% of Indians feel that technology is enabling quality interactions, another 29% report that technology is working as an interim solution at best, with the need to balance this with in-person interaction, and 3% feel that technology can never measure up to face-to-face interactions.
● Most people wish to continue working from home. Given that a majority of respondents in India (86%) feel that they are equipped to work from home on a long-term basis, it is not surprising that more than 90% of respondents are keen to continue working from home, either occasionally or on a permanent basis.
“India has undergone an unprecedented digital transformation. With the work from home phenomenon gaining steam, companies based out of India have very few options but to invest in improving infrastructure to tackle latency issues. With more and more professionals preferring work from home, Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) will be instrumental in improving online experiences for work and entertainment.” said Ashwin Rao, Regional Country Director – India at Limelight Networks. “In addition, the phenomenal growth of OTT content consumption is driving the demand for high quality viewing minimal latency .”