Is Remote Work Here to Stay?

Is Remote Work Here to Stay?

“Is remote work here to stay?” It’s the question on everyone’s minds this year as COVID restrictions slowly loosen.

‘The New Normal’

The past year and a half have been an exercise in patience, adaptability and endurance. In early 2020, employers and employees simultaneously pivoted to remote work, leaving office towers strangely deserted. Crowded rows of cubicles turned into a thing of the past, and yoga pants swiftly became the new work trousers. Weeks turned into months, and we all began to wonder: Was remote work just a phase, or would we embrace this thing for the long run?

Now, members of the workforce have ostensibly settled into the so-called ‘new normal’ – one of the countless buzzwords to come out of 2020. Remote work has lost the sheen of novelty and has become just another routine of daily life. Is it perfect? No, but then again, very few things in this world are. Is it better than 9-5 office work? The answer depends on who you ask. But will it stick around? The short answer is yes.

It’s safe to say that remote work will be around for many years to come. And truth be told, remote work has always existed; it was just far less common pre-pandemic. The great Office Exodus of 2020 has shown that remote work on a massive worldwide scale is feasible, and the world will never be the same.

The Way of the Future

Let’s take a look at the data. Global business consultant McKinsey suggests that the future framework of remote employment is called the ‘hybrid virtual model.’ Just as the name would imply, this strategy involves a combination of remote and office work. McKinsey estimates that upwards of 20% of the current workforce could work 3-5 days of the week from a remote location just as effectively as they could from the office.

A hybrid virtual model could offer the best of both worlds: the flexibility of remote work, plus the collaborative nature of office work. Before the pandemic, many office workers would tell you they were fed up with the humdrum 9-5 cubicle life. Post-pandemic, office employees are chomping at the bit to see their co-workers and have an actual Zoom-less meeting. Too much of anything can lead to employee burnout, so many companies may balance the scales with a bit of each.

Experts believe remote work is here to stay – not for everyone, and not all the time, but we’ll never fully revert to work as we knew it just a few years ago.

If you’re part of the work-from-home revolution, there’s one thing you absolutely need to make it work: high-speed internet you can rely on. Contact Medina Fiber today to get the internet you need to power your career for years to come.

Fiber Internet Increases Home Values

Fiber Internet Increases Home Values

In the wake of COVID-19, more people than ever before want to work, learn and access telehealth applications from home. Modern lifestyles require modern internet powered by a fiber network—and homebuyers know it.

In fact, a 2015 study showed that fiber-delivered internet access could increase a home’s value by up to 3.1%, and that was before a pandemic increased the demand for fast, reliable home internet.

What’s the Data Saying?

The 2015 study, conducted by experts from the University of Colorado and Carnegie Mellon University, was based on national real estate market data collected between 2011 and 2013. It found that fiber internet could boost the value of the average American home by as much as $5,500 – a payout on par with adding a brand-new fireplace.

Beyond that, there is an ever-growing body of research linking the investment in broadband networks with accelerated economic performance. Communities with fast and reliable fiber networks often exhibit higher rates of per capita GDP.

The Online Superhighway

Because cable internet can be significantly slower and far less reliable than fiber, remote workers who depend on a fast, reliable connection are looking for fiber internet.

Cable internet speeds typically range from 10-250 Mbps for downloads and 5-50 Mbps for uploads. Fiber internet, however, can provide 250-1,000 Mbps each for download and upload – a critical benefit for those looking to use video conferencing tools at home.

The 2015 study found that in homes where 1,000 Mbps (equivalent to 1 Gbps) broadband was available, real estate sale prices were over 7% higher than homes with available speeds of 25 Mbps or less.

The Future of Fiber

Again, it’s worth noting the time frame of this study, which was conducted almost ten years ago now. Over the past decade, residential internet access has only become more critical and considerably more valuable.

With more than half of Americans working remotely as of January 2021, fast, secure and reliable internet has become an invaluable asset. Not only is the internet a prime source of communication and entertainment, but it’s also essential for the American white-collar workforce.

Even those who don’t work from home are more likely to want high-speed internet for telehealth applications than they were ten years ago. Data show that utilization of online medical services is now a staggering 38 times higher than it was at the beginning of the pandemic.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, better broadband equals more opportunities for remote work and the delivery of digital services. Those opportunities lead to more innovation, job creation and business growth.

Fiber brings massive benefits to communities, so it’s no wonder it increases individual home values, too! To learn more about fiber availability at your home, contact Medina Fiber today. We’d love to get you connected.