The pandemic forced the enterprise to quickly pivot from familiar business practices and develop ways to successfully function while keeping employees safe. A new report from Zoom, The Impact of Video Communications During COVID-19, was released Thursday.
“Video communications were suddenly our lifeline to society, enabling us to continue work and school in a digital environment,” said Brendan Ittelson, chief technology officer of Zoom, on the company’s blog. “Any baby steps toward digital transformation suddenly had to become leaps and bounds, with people reimagining their entire day-to-day practically overnight.”
Zoom commissioned the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to conduct a survey and economic analysis to evaluate the economic impact of remote work and video communications solutions during the pandemic. BCG also conducted a survey and economic analysis, with a focus on which industries pivoted business processes using video conferencing, resulting in business continuity and even growth during a time of significant economic turmoil.
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- In the U.S., the ability to work remotely saved 2.28 million jobs up to three times as many employees worked remotely, with a nearly three times increase in the use of video conferencing solutions.
- Of the businesses surveyed, the total time spent on video conferencing solutions increased by as much as five times the numbers pre-pandemic.
- BCG’s COVID-19 employee sentiment survey from 2020 showed that 70% of managers are more open to flexible remote working models than they were before the pandemic.
- Hybrid working models will be the norm soon. The businesses surveyed expect more than a third of employees to work remotely beyond the pandemic.
- The U.K. saved 550,000 jobs because of remote capabilities; Germany saved 372,00 jobs and France saved 250,000.
Impact on five U.S. states
Zoom commissioned BCG to look at five specific U.S. states to determine the impact remote work and video conferencing had on small-to-medium-sized businesses. Video conferencing enabled business continuity, introduced new ways of working, and even improved employee morale at the SMBs surveyed.
- California: Eighty-eight percent of SMBs surveyed agree “Employees at my company rapidly adopted video conferencing solutions with limited training.”
- Florida: Sixty-one percent of SMBs surveyed consider “Video conferencing solutions a must-have or very important for remote work.”
- Illinois: Seventy-five percent of SMBs surveyed agree “Video conferencing solutions helped improve the productivity of my company’s employees during the pandemic.”
- New York: Seventy-two percent of SMBs surveyed agree “Video conferencing solutions helped boost morale and mental well-being of employees at my company during the pandemic.”
- Texas: Thirteen percent average increase in revenue of SMBs surveyed, 2019-2020.
BCG focused on how healthcare, education, technology and professional services were able to continue during the pandemic supported by remote collaboration. It also looked at how the trends may continue in the future.
- Healthcare: Sixty-seven percent of businesses surveyed agreed with the statement “My company is considering a flexible remote working model because of successful remote collaboration through video conferencing solutions.”
- Education: During the pandemic, there was a 3.5-times increase in the use of video conferencing solutions.
- Technology: Businesses surveyed (84%) agree “Video conferencing solutions will continue to be essential for business operations beyond the pandemic.”
- Professional services: BCG found a 2.7-times increase in remote work during the pandemic.
Future of work
While some workers will go back into the office after the pandemic, many will continue to work remotely or in a hybrid situation.
The workforce will be forever affected by the COVID-19 pandemic; its impact has been profound. The report revealed that people will work collaboratively to overcome obstacles. Technology will continue to play a pivotal role in defining what’s next.
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