Has working from home changed communication forever?
It’s more than 120 days since the pandemic forced millions of us to work from home, and along with working in our pyjamas and taking one too many trips to the biscuit cupboard, lockdown has brought new ways of keeping in touch with colleagues, family and friends.
If lockdown has taught us one thing, it’s that video calls are actually a great way to hold meetings and get things done. But at the start of 2020, how many UK businesses were using Zoom or Microsoft Teams regularly?
Just six months ago (yes, we know it feels longer!) lots of us were neglecting these tools, instead choosing time-consuming, environmentally-damaging journeys for meetings in person.
Face to face contact will continue to be part of the post COVID-19 world – but as social distancing and mandatory masks look set to become a normal part of life, travelling from office to office for every meeting could become a thing of the past too.
Challenging the way things are done
The coronavirus outbreak challenged businesses to ensure they continued to communicate quickly and effectively, and messaging and conferencing apps reaped the rewards as a result.
Zoom’s reports between February and April showed more than 300 million daily users at the peak of lockdown, leading to a near 400 per cent increase in its paying customers and a forecasted £1.8 billion in revenue for the year.
It’s a similar story for the other messaging giants too. EE reported a 45 per cent increase in use of WhatsApp and HouseParty, with NHS staff sending almost half a million messages on Microsoft Teams every day.
People flocked to these services as they offer a quick and easy way to keep in touch with key contacts, and helped them to maintain business as usual, without suffering a mass breakdown of organisational communication.
Thanks to the likes of Zoom and Microsoft Teams, we’re now more adept at hosting team catch ups, checking in with clients and even setting up new collaborations and projects all from our respective home offices.