Internet searches for Skype, Microsoft and Zoom remote working technology rise by up to 97% in weeks

 Skype Microsoft Zoom

Iomart research finds businesses investing in new software to keep up with sudden shif

Internet searches for Skype, Office 365, Microsoft Teams and Zoom have soared as business owners make the switch to remote working because of coronavirus.

Research by Glasgow cloud computing company Iomart shows searches for Zoom have risen 97% since January, Office 365 queries have increased by 46%, and searches for Skype have seen an 18% 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. Iomart said such collaboration and communication tools are vital for productivity – especially as 55% of UK workers having had no experience of working from home and 35% experiencing a drop in motivation when doing so.

They are also critical to maintaining employees’ mental health during this disruptive period, the company said.

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. But the company said 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.

Iomart senior marketing manager Thomas Lynch said: “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. 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.”