Editor's Corner— What happens to WFH when the COVID-19 pandemic passes?

The home-bound workforce is finding new ways of staying connected during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Verizon. (Pixabay)

We've learned a few things about the telecommunications industry thus far when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic. The first, and perhaps most important, is that the telecommunications ecosystem is largely handling the increased traffic due to home-bound employees, OTT streamers and daytime online gamers.

While network engineers are constantly planning ahead for increased bandwidth usage, the window for adding that capacity may be shrinking the longer COVID-19 goes on.

RELATED: With a surge in usage due to COVID-19, networks are fine, for now: Nokia Deepfield

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We have also learned that entire organizations are capable of working from home (WFH.) As someone who has worked from home for the past 15 years, I can tell you the glamour of working from home eventually wears off, and it's only a matter of time before you spend the entire day in your PJs with a piece of tape over your laptop video camera.

A few weeks into the coronavirus pandemic, the home-bound workforce is learning to take better advantage of collaboration tools, according to an update provided on Thursday by Verizon. There's been a 47% week-over-week increase in the use of collaboration tools on Verizon's networks. The use of those same tools drops dramatically during the weekends, which, Verizon surmises, is caused by users having things to do other than remote office work and online learning.

Traffic using VPNs also continues to increase as teleworkers make secure connections over the public internet to their networks. VPN use was up another 9% week-over-week and up 52% over a typical day.

In its COVID-19 update, Verizon CTO Kyle Malady said "customers are finding new and important ways of staying connected," but once the teleworkers have tasted the fruits of home-based freedom will they want to return to their cubicles?

"I think we all like working from home periodically," said Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, during a Bloomberg video interview on Wednesday, when asked what his experience has been working from home. "I think we all miss the office tremendously."

Speak for yourself, Chuck.

So instead of thinking of it as being restricted to home, think of work from home as a brief taste of freedom where you can be productive and play your choice of music as loud as you want.

As I have said over the years, I always figured I would end up wearing my pajamas all day when I started working from home, but I didn't anticipate wearing the same ones all week. — Mike

Editor's Corners are opinion columns written by a member of the Fierce editorial team. They are edited for balance and accuracy.

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