Since 2020, video call technology has been one of the fastest-growing sectors in the business and digital marketplaces. Millions of people worldwide depended on it to keep in contact, both personally and professionally, and it undoubtedly kept businesses flowing when we couldn’t meet face to face. But now that restrictions have been lifted and more people are returning to the office, does video call technology still have a function in the workplace in 2022? And, if so, how are they adapting to a new hybrid model of working?
How the pandemic fuelled the need for video call technology
Although video call technology existed long before 2020, it was not as popular, certainly not professionally, as it is now. Many applications required a hardwired connection and couldn’t be used on multiple devices. The priority for employers at the time was to remain office-based, and several employers simply couldn’t see the potential or possibility of working from home. But the pandemic changed everything, and as employees couldn’t enter the office for safety reasons, the need to maintain contact with multiple people simultaneously become a high priority.
Zoom and Microsoft Teams led the way, and the former saw their active meeting participation grow by 2,900% in 2020 and revenue grow by 326% to over $2.7 billion, in figures published by Matthew Woodward. The video conference technology industry was booming, and office-based businesses worldwide depended on them for their success. But what goes up must come down, and as restrictions eased and more people returned to the office on a full or part-time basis, video call technology’s popularity slowed. Would it survive further changes to the workplace?
Transition to hybrid working – do video call technologies still have their place?
After their boom in 2020, it’s unsurprising that video call technology’s growth and revenue slowed from 2021 onwards. Furthermore, changes to the technologies, such as Zoom re-introducing fees for calls over 45-minutes or for multiple participants saw its popularity begin to decline.
However, as hybrid working looked to become the new normal, companies still needed to use video technology to connect those working from the office with those working from home. And even those who are fully back in the office still found use from video call software, for example when connecting with people from other companies without the need for travel, or for joining virtual conferences. Despite changes to the workplace, video call technology remained relevant, if not vital, in the 2022 office. But how can they continue to stay relevant in the coming years?
The future of video call technology
Although the technologies are still relevant, these companies undoubtedly need to look to the future in order to stay relevant. Technology is adapting at such a rate that, without innovation, they could quickly find themselves left behind or neglected. Very few people still use Skype, for example.
Zoom and Microsoft Teams have now created an alliance to enable users to host calls across both platforms and share their meeting data without requiring extra licenses or third-party assistance. These companies are also heavily investing in Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality, both of which are considered to be the future of technology. For example, Microsoft has recently announced “Mesh”, which works with VR headsets, desktops, and mobiles to transition meetings from a 2D video screen to a 3D VR collaboration space. But what could this mean for IT and recruitment?
The effect on IT and Recruitment
Because of the success of video call technology, many recruiters have transitioned full-time to online, virtual recruitment practices, including screening and interviews. As many positions are now listed as working from home, the need to meet face-to-face is reduced, and video call technology allows companies to bridge gaps in location whilst still “meeting” a candidate. Recruiters will need to ensure they stay on top of developing software to not only host interviews, but as a shop window, to demonstrate that they too are staying ahead of the curve.
IT departments needed to adapt to online video call technology, and especially in 2020 there were concerns over security and potential data breaches, the threat of which is ongoing as more companies rely on technology. IT staff will need to also monitor trends to ensure they can implement new software and hardware and help their organisations stay on top of the latest trends.
What’s your organisation’s experience with video call technology? Do you love it or loathe it, and what updates would you like the see implemented in the future? Get in touch to let us know your thoughts.