Video conference meeting

Verizon and Morning Consult have taken a deep look at how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected shopping, work and education in what they call the Look Forward Study. The study found significant changes across the board, many of which likely will heavily influence the contours of telecommunications going forward.

Verizon CTO Kyle Malady said in a press release that usage on the carrier’s network remains almost 31% above pre-pandemic levels and that the crisis has accelerated the shift to digital by five to seven years.

Following are highlights from the Verizon Look Forward report, which was conducted from March 12 to March 14 and included a sample of 3,000 adults in the United States:

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Work:

  • 2,872% increase in video conferencing.
  • VPN traffic is up 91%.
  • 54% work remotely at least part time—almost twice the 28% who did so before.
  • 69% who did work remotely would like to do it one or two days in the future while 25% want to fully return to the office.
  • 75% say they are more mobile when they work remotely.
  • 67% say they will work at remote locations in the future.

Education:

  • 77% say most children will be attending school fully in-person a year from now.
  • 49% expect K-12 students will have the option to attend classes online at least part time.
  • 58% expect K-12 schools to move classes online during inclement weather, rather than canceling classes.
  • 72% of parents of children under 18 have been more lenient with screen time.
  • 57% will keep more relaxed screen time rules even after the pandemic ends.

Streaming:

  • Streaming is 21% above pre-pandemic levels.
  • 44% say TV and streaming content has helped adults connect with friends and family.
  • 82% who currently stream content anticipate spending more or the same amount of time doing so in the future.
  • 67% have recently been spending at least 3 hours per week watching live TV.
  • 47% say they have subscribed to a new streaming service.
  • 70% have binge watched shows at least once or twice.
  • 47% of Gen Z prefer to binge.
  • 62% of US adult households currently subscribe to a cable or satellite television service
  • 23% have cut the cord.
  • 21% have never subscribed to a cable or satellite service.

Gaming:

  • 46% of respondents report that they have purchased or downloaded a mobile game at least once.
  • 36% have purchased or downloaded a mobile game for a computer or console game.
  • 31% spend 3 or more hours a week playing games on their mobile devices.
  • 32% have spent time online gaming.
  • 32% have spoken to friends or family via video calls.
  • 45% say they were spending more time doing these activities in the early months of the pandemic than they are now.
  • 46% were spending about the same amount of time as they are now.

The Verizon Look Forward report showed that phone calls increased by 20% at the start of the pandemic and have remained at about the same level. Call length has increased 29%.

Verizon is part of the trends upon which it and Morning Consult reported. Last September, the carrier said it would hire 950 customer service representatives for home-based positions.

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