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One of the most prolific catalysts for enabling remote work and the future of work during the past few years became Zoom Video Communications. It evolved into a household name. A term even got coined for those who grow tired from being on Zoom meetings all day – Zoom fatigue. 

While some of the connotations for video conferencing platforms are negative, what these systems enable – that’s mostly positive. And most, if not all, might agree on this. During a time when sitting across from loved ones and coworkers was no longer a safe option – video conferencing became our best and safest bet. 

Years after the onset of the Coronavirus Pandemic – video conferencing technology will not go away. The need for features like file/screen sharing, real-time file editing, etc., caused – video conferencing giants like Zoom, Cisco WebEx, and Skype for Business to have some of the best user metrics they have experienced in years, in fact. 

 

Video Conferencing: Benefits + Remote Workforce

With millions now working remotely – we have placed heavier reliance on video conferencing tools. And that is reflected in data, which suggest that since 2005, those working remotely have increased by 140%

What could this result in? For starters, having the ability to work from home via telecommuting works to increase employee satisfaction. While some employers remain wary about how remote work might impact things like productivity, communication, and teamwork – the reality is – most enjoy the freedom and flexibility of remote work. 

Slack data found that a stunning 57% of global knowledge workers said they are open to looking for a new job in the next year, meaning companies run the risk of losing top talent to competitors. Even if these jobs pay less, some employees may very well take the pay cut in exchange for greater flexibility.

Video conferencing has largely fueled what some considered a trend of remote working and emerged as the perfect communication tool for scattered teams. Today video conferencing provides essential video collaboration features like task assignment, project status reporting, third-party apps and integrations, workflow management tools, and not merely ‘standard’ video calling functionalities.  

 

Work From Home, Forever? 

Some companies have vowed to ride the remote working train indefinitely, with others allowing some form of hybrid working. This seems to be what will be the case from now on. But we should not discount never going back to the office at all. There are obvious benefits, like cost savings associated with not having so much real estate capital.

Some will also demand full-time remote work and only apply for positions that do not require on-site workers.

Upwork Pulse Report

Upwork Pulse Report

 

According to Upwork, in its: “Future of Workforce Pulse Report; one-in-four Americans worked from home in 2021. By 2025, the same survey found – 36.2 million Americans will work remotely, representing an 87% increase from pre-pandemic levels. 

  • 55% of companies allow for remote work.
  • Remote work will increase by 77% from 2019-2022.
  • Remote gig work will increase by 19% from 2019-2022.
  • 30% of employees are full-time remote workers.
  • 62% of employees work from home occasionally.
  • From 2010-2020, we saw a 400% increase in employees who work from home at least once a week.

Sources: Forbes, HubSpot

 

Remote Work and the Productivity Conundrum

I am my best at home and produce my best work in my environment. This is certainly something I can attest to, having worked from locations around the globe for nearly seven years. 

State of Remote Work Report 2019

State of Remote Work Report 2019

And there are tons of perks related to working from home that extend to both employees and employers. Having the option to work from home increases productivity and lowers another key figure that should remain low – employee churn. Just take a look for yourself; at these data from Hubspot: 

  • 77% of remote workers report higher productivity levels when working from home.
  • 23% of remote workers work longer hours from home than in the office. 
  • 53% of remote workers take less time off than in-office employees. 
  • 74% of employees say that they are less likely to leave a company that offers remote work.
  • 83% of the workforce say because they can work from home, they have increased job satisfaction.

Source: HubSpot

 

Increasing Remote Team Collaboration

Teams in the workplace are far more popular of an idea today than ever before. Previously, we relied heavily on the individual to get things done. And in 2022, there is a greater emphasis on the collective team effort. 

As such, video conferencing tools have facilitated much of our teamwork efforts during the Pandemic. Not tied to any particular size of a team, video collaboration apps like Zoom offer features like breakout rooms for smaller group sessions. The goal – to foster greater team collaboration and drive results. 

  • 73% of employees say that their employers require interdepartmental and inter-team collaboration.
  • 72% of businesses note an increase in project-based assignments.
  • 66% of employees say they have experienced a rise in virtual teams.
  • 72% of companies report an increase in client collaboration.

Source: Forbes

 

Who Uses Video Conferencing?

Those in the B2B, B2C, education and healthcare sectors rely on video conferencing solutions a lot – a notion that did not change during the Pandemic. If anything, it only increased the adoption of said technologies. 

With a (plethora of) use cases, team collaboration and video conferencing tools get leveraged for everything from conducting interviews to employee onboarding and webinars. The workplace tools are even growing in popularity for hosting large-scale virtual events. 

  • 43% of remote and in-house teams use a video conferencing solution.
  • 78% of corporate companies use video calling software.
  • 83% of businesses with over 250 employees are likely to purchase video calling tools.
Lifesize 2019 Impact of Video Conferencing Report

Lifesize 2019 Impact of Video Conferencing Report

  • 27% of small businesses are likely to buy video calling tools.
  • 86% of companies conduct employee interviews over video calls.
  • 73% of education professionals say video conferencing will decrease student dropouts

Sources: Forbes, Gartner, Zoom 

Furthermore, during the Coronavirus Pandemic, millions of healthcare institutions latched on to the technology that has made the job of healthcare professionals safer and more convenient. It also turns out that video calls can be (exceptionally) valuable: 

  • Video conferencing can reduce travel costs by up to 30%
  • Video conferencing has reduced the need for business travel by 47%

Source: Lifesize

 

Impact of Video Meetings

Video conferencing tools prevent miscommunication, increase engagement, and allow team members to join online video meetings anywhere from their preferred devices. Web conferencing quickly became the new standard in meeting formats, replacing traditional conference room meetings or audio conference calls. Video conferencing statistics show that:

  • 45% of teams use video calling tools daily or weekly.
  • 80% of employees use video calling for 1:1 meetings.
  • 78% of employees say they use web conferencing tools for team meetings.
  • 75% of CEOS say that video conference calls will entirely replace audio-only conference calls.
  • 67% of employees say they are more likely to contribute to a meeting over video conferencing.
Lifesize 2019 Impact of Video Conferencing Report

Lifesize 2019 Impact of Video Conferencing Report

  • 87% of remote employees say they feel more connected and involved with teams and projects when using video conferencing.
  • 55% of businesses say video conferencing effectively increases employee engagement.
  • 66% of business executives say video conferencing helps them to better connect with freelance or gig workers.
  • 87% of team members say video calling has helped to speed up the decision-making process.
  • Studies show 77% of attendees join video meetings on laptop or desktop computers, 31% on mobile phones, and 13% on tablets.

Sources: Forbes, Parmetech, Lifesize 

 

What about Webinars?

As mentioned earlier, video conferencing tools, especially more recently – have been used to host webinars. Zoom even released a feature that lets companies and individuals scale up their webinars and virtual events along with monetizing them. There is a growing importance for such features, and these figures help demonstrate that: 

  • 47% of webinars are related to onboarding and training for employees and customers.
  • B2B companies host 61% of all webinars.
  • 29% of all webinars are related to marketing and demand generation.
  • The majority of webinars, 26%, are in the software and technology sector.
  • Real estate agents host the highest number of webinars per year, 34. 
  • Only one-third of webinar registrants will attend the webinar.

Source: GoToWebinar

 

The Most Popular Video Conferencing Platforms

Zoom and popular Zoom alternatives like Microsoft Teams and Cisco WebEx are some of the top video conferencing tools on the market. Many companies may use all three of these tools.

  • 62% of companies use three or more video calling platforms.
    • Zoom had over 300 million meeting participants per day in 2020.
    • Google Meet had over 100 million daily meeting participants in 2020.
    • Microsoft Teams had 250 million active daily users in 2021.
    • Cisco WebEx currently has over 324 million users.

Sources: Zoom, Cisco, Microsoft 

 

What is the Future of Video Conferencing?

The market is slated for a ton of further growth, although it will likely eventually plateau. It will take an end to the Pandemic for that to happen, or a sudden reversal in “work from home” policies. If and when that happens – most video conferencing solutions will have reached some form of maturity, and the providers extending lackluster service will have likely gotten weaned out. 

What should we be on the lookout for, for now? Continued innovation in the space, and the fact that there is still tons to be done in the arena. In 2021 a few of the providers in the space entered the AR/VR, which will undoubtedly remain hot areas in this futuristic period we call the present.