Now that our work lives have been turned upside down by Covid-19, do we want work to be virtual?
If you were lucky enough to be in a profession or industry that supported remote work, you typically found yourself at home, glued to a computer all day. The word “Zoom” became synonymous with endless meetings. But Zoom (or Google Meet or Skype or Facetime) also became the lifeline of how we stayed connected to colleagues, friends, prospects, customers and family members. Our lives changed forever in the last 15 months.
Last month I blogged about the changing work environment: 32 Companies That Have Remote or Hybrid Work Policies. I received many questions from readers wondering if remote or hybrid work would stand the test of time. Let’s face it; some individuals and managers want to go back to the office (or maybe they just want to get out of the house). But the vast majority of people who reached out to me agreed that some form of permanent remote/hybrid work structure would be the norm.
Now Zoom, the company who accidentally gained the most from the office-to-home shift, released the results of a survey on the future of video conferencing titled “How Virtual Do We Want Our Future to Be?” One would expect these survey results to support the benefits of video conferencing. But to Zoom’s credit, they took an earnest and structured approach to their survey methodology that included:
- Commissioning Qualtrics Research, a respected research firm to conduct the survey.
- A global survey: respondents came from 10 different countries
- The survey’s purpose was to better understand how consumers intend to leverage video communications in a post-COVID-19 era.
- Most interesting is that respondents could not work in Journalism/PR, Marketing, or Technology & Software; and had to have used video communications during the month prior to the survey (March 2021). These targeted respondents may not be as comfortable or fluid with technology, computers, and video-conferencing, which sets the stage for less tech-biased results.
The report has a lot of exciting data, which I will dive into in future blogs. But, for the question, “do we want work to be virtual”, here are the key takeaways:
- Many of those surveyed believe that even after COVID-19 concerns subside, video communications are here to stay.
- Celebrations, business, and education were the activities survey respondents most frequently transitioned from in-person to virtual.
- A large majority of respondents indicated that video communications were valuable for staving off feelings of loneliness and isolation.
- A majority of respondents believe that working in a hybrid environment will allow employees to fit work around their life – and they welcome that change.
- Very few respondents think activities will be virtual-only forever. But the majority felt that our lives would include a balance of in-person and virtual components for most activities in the future.
The shift to a virtual world environment has left all of us wanting different things. At TalkShop Workshops, we offer workshops that help enterprise teams reconnect with each other. Our workshops are highly interactive and expertly facilitated. If you are interested in learning more about, for example, Managing and Influencing Remotely or hot to Create and Use Your Personal Brand – skills that can benefit careers and personal relationships, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.