In an attempt to control the spread of the Covid-19, a significant part of the global population which is currently on lockdown has been forced to work and keep its businesses afloat without the convenience of daily workplace communication methods. Staff meetings, business events and travel have all been put on hold or cancelled for the time being, urging many companies to turn to video conferencing platforms such as Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts and Webex to maintain operations and client relationships.
Although video conferencing is not a novel platform, seeing that it advanced rapidly during the early 1990s and was even a concept that was being developed in the early 1960s, its degree of implementation and usage skyrocketed during the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic when many companies were ordered to cease their business operations indefinitely. With large numbers of employees making the move from office to home, video conferencing has made the transition a lot easier due to its accessibility and affordability.
Out of all the video chat services, Zoom’s popularity has certainly overshadowed the rest thanks to its user-friendly application, enhanced call quality, and most importantly, the fact that it’s free. Beyond the fact that it is mainly used to keep business productivity moving, Zoom has also become a fun and easy way to keep in touch with loved ones all over the world. Just recently, Zoom reported a 169% year-on-year increase in its Q1 revenues to $328.2 million from $122 million in the year-ago time frame.
With this being said, the rise of video conferencing applications and platforms is not something new. In the past few years before the pandemic, businesses worldwide were already investing in digitising their operations as a way of expanding their global footprint. According to Tom Eagle, a senior research director at global research firm Gartner, the pandemic has become a “catalyst for transformative work cultures and practices that will be significantly characterized by remote work.”
Eagle added, “With the combination of non-routine workforce growth and this workplace meeting profile, corporate real estate and IT planner decisions are often animated toward providing more convenient access to collaboration technologies such as video conferencing. They do this not just at the desktop, but in shared spaces such as huddle rooms; access must also be provided for mobile and at-home workers. An agile workforce needs all of these options for enhanced productivity.”