The shift to remote work has been a large-scale adjustment for many businesses coping with the impact of the coronavirus. As each company figures out how to operate in this new environment, one thing has been consistent: the need for a reliable conferencing tool. For many, the winning choice has been Zoom.
Already a popular video conferencing platform within the corporate community, Zoom saw a significant spike in downloads in China when the coronavirus hit. The company has reported that China is only its ninth largest market, but it decided to drop its usual 40-minute limit for free calls during the outbreak and subsequently saw a rise in downloads.
That success has been mirrored in the U.S. and other regions impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Between March 7 and March 22, Zoom has seen a consistent increase in downloads per day, rising from 195,300 to nearly 2 million at the end of that period. This rise coincides with the number of businesses migrating to a work-from-home policy as well as the increasing number of consumers who are using the software for their social interactions.
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The Zoom platform has many competitors in the video conferencing space, including Google Hangouts and High Five. But Learnbonds.com reports that Zoom has seen a growth of 1,270% during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was also ranked as the top free app in the Apple Store last week. This popularity may be due to some of the platform’s specific features.
Zoom’s corporate users can integrate the conferencing tool with the virtual workspace Bluescape, another remote work technology that’s gaining users right now. Paid users are able to create virtual conferences that can host up to 1,000 participants and the free version is accessible for 40 minutes at a time, making it a viable option for smaller businesses. Screen-sharing can promote collaboration, while recording and transcription features help preserve workflow after the call has finished.
Employers who offer Zoom accounts to their employees may also see benefits in employee well-being. Part of the popularity of the conferencing tool has been due to users adopting it to re-create many social activities, from virtual book clubs to happy hours. By creating a space for staff to mimic their usual office happy hours or coffee breaks, businesses can foster employee camaraderie during a period of uncertainty.
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