As the concept of work continues to evolve, the loose idea of what we consider a 'workplace;' does, too. Employee choice is here to stay. There (are) even data to support that if you look at a 2022 Zoom-Momentive poll titled: Future of Work Revisited

It found that employees derive value in being allowed to choose how they work, the poll uncovered that a bit over two-thirds (69%) of workers said it remains paramount that they stay in charge of how they work. That implies in-person, remote, and hybrid models, all of which have varying degrees of support. 

That number rises to 85% among those who work from home some or all the time, with fifty-five percent saying they would "likely" look for a new job if they could not work from their "ideal location."Zoom 2022 Report

But what about the social aspect of working? Remember, the traditional office? Do you remember? You know, before the Pandemic? Going into the office, you could chat with folks during downtime and eat lunch together? Walk over to a co-worker's desk to ask them a question? 

The Zoom-Momentive poll found that there is just one thing employees prefer to do in person: and that is to socialize. Fifty-three percent of respondents said they want to meet new clients in person. Fifty-eight percent said they prefer to bond as a team with activities in person rather than virtually.

What has made the process of homeworking simpler for the millions today working from home? Zoom says that some 43% of remote workers say that workplace collaboration tools have made "it easier to do their jobs if you compare it to before the COVID-19 pandemic."

While there is evidence to support that employee socializing made some employees less productive, there is also evidence to support another notion - that it also made employees happier in some instances. 


Zoom Reservations for Hybrid Teams

While not everyone wants to work from home, there is still an obvious need for employee choice and lots of room for workplace flexibility. As such, Zoom announced: "Workspace Reservation," a feature that will let Zoom users book meeting spaces using an interactive when made available at the end of July 2022. 

The experience will be generally available for (both) on-site or remote-work operations. And according to Zoom, the experience will be a seamless one. Accessible as a Zoom App via the Zoom desktop client or web browser, Workspace Reservation is a feature that shows Zoom's clear focus on hybrid work. 

It lets users book a range of workspaces, including Zoom Rooms, Zoom Phone Appliances, Work desks, "personal" meeting rooms, screening rooms, and other configured spaces, according to a statement by Zoom. With a clear and present focus on hybrid teams, the feature also lets users:

Choose a space reservation time and duration for partial or "full" workdays. And it comes with on-demand booking, meaning Zoom users can reserve spaces upon arrival to a physical (space) via a kiosk at the front desk. 

Likely the most sizable advantage of the feature is that it is data-rich. It allows admins to essentially collect tons of data on how folks leverage the technology. In the end, workplace administration can use said data to adjust the workplace experience based on actual user data. 

Mapping an office is no small undertaking, but the feature will make it simple. Soon administration can easily upload custom office maps and seating locations from the admin portal. Lastly, Zoom embraces the concept of workplace spontaneity, as admins can add printable QR codes to workspaces so employees can reserve spaces on the fly.


Zoom Phone Hits 3 million, Apps, Channel News

Back in July 2021, Zoom announced the general availability of Zoom Apps. Today, it has more than 100 published apps that range from Breakout Rooms to apps by various other workplace collaboration, whiteboarding, etc., type-developers. Zoom Apps can now run in Webinars, further enhancing events with branding and insights. There are even apps that support fundraising, real-time translation, polling, etc. 

Zoom is also shaking up its leadership, appointing Todd Surdey as Head of Global Channel and Business Development. Surdey joins Zoom with quite an impressive enterprise and channel background. He previously served in leadership roles at Google, Palo Alto Networks, SAP, Salesforce, and VMware, to name a few.  

Zoom hopes this experience will help him scale its more than 8,000 partners in over 150 countries and territories. With that announcement came other channel news; Zoom said it launched a new partner program. It wrote in a statement about its newly-redesigned partner program: 

"Building upon our existing partner ecosystem, the Zoom Up Partner Program introduces a single program architecture with enhanced resources for partners to grow their businesses. As of July 2022, the Zoom Up Partner Program is now available to referral partners and resellers."

Via the program, partners gain access to partner use and demo licenses for free and at discounted rates for training and demo purposes. 

Zoom Partner Program GetVoIP News

There is also a newly structured program level system, which Zoom says existing partners will get placed in during the second half of the year if they meet the requirements. Zoom is also looking to give its partners more weight when they host potential sales meetings, adding a new accreditation system. 

You can learn more about Zoom's new partner program, which just receive a facelift, here.

All this: just as Zoom Phone surpassed 3 million seats sold earlier this month, marking another major milestone for the video conferencing giant. Whew, that's it, for this update, and it is clear that Zoom is busy scaling up business along with hoping to deeply impact the way we work.

There are tons of others in this space shaking things up. There is simply no denying that during the Pandemic, Zoom has mostly come out on top. Today, there's hardly a person on earth who doesn't know what Zoom is, and that is apparent if you look at the progress Zoom has made over the last two years.

Stay tuned for the latest unified communications and collaboration news here on GetVoIP News, and don't forget to tell us your thoughts in the comments section.