It’s said that society changes slowly, then all at once. We’re seeing a massive shift literally overnight in how companies work, rapidly accelerating a trend that has already been going on for years. As the country adapts to the issues related to Covid-19, working remotely has become not just commonplace, but for some a necessity.

Over the past few weeks we’ve been highlighting how remote workers are using Woven, and some of the best practices we’ve observed from leading companies and influencers. This post will showcase some big changes we’ve been observing in how workers are leveraging video conferencing in their daily lives.

Slowly, Slowly, then All At Once

We’ve been observing a long term trend towards the use of video conferencing (VC usage) for a while. Over the past 2 years, we’ve seen VC usage more than double. Tools such as Zoom, BlueJeans, Skype, GoToMeeting and others have become commonplace in many kinds of events. VC usage is most prominent in large meetings where it has replaced the telecom bridge as the preferred technology of choice. This makes sense as the larger your meeting, the more likely it is at least one person may need to be remote. Historically, however, most 1-1s or small meetings on the other hand have not had a VC technology associated with them.

In the last 2 weeks however, we’ve seen a huge shift. All of a sudden a significant portion of events have been scheduled with a VC bridge. We’ve seen Video Conferencing adoption grow as much in 3 weeks as in the previous two years, that is an increase of over 90%

This shift is even more pronounced in 1-1 meetings. Even before recent events in New York and California we’ve seen that 1-1 meetings with Video have almost doubled. This is the most striking example of how Covid-19 is starting to drive remote work into the daily lives of many people and making tools that were previously optional, a necessity.

New Approaches Brings New Problems Requiring New Solutions

As Video Conferencing begins to permeate our daily lives more, it presents new challenges with how we work. These include:

  • Setting up events with Video Conferencing enabled by default
  • Coordinating time with others
  • Making sure your virtual meetings are effective

Setting up events with Video Conferencing Enabled

Whether you are using Zoom, WebEx or others, setting up a meeting with Video Conferencing can be complicated. First, you have to make sure that you’ve set the meeting up properly. Failing to do so inevitably results in a productivity drain at the beginning of events as people fumble for the right bridge number, ask around for the right link, and then have trouble signing on. Doing this multiple times a day drains you and your teams productivity.

Another common issue is overlapping meetings. Unlike when meeting face to face, someone who is joining a Video Conference has no idea who is already there. While using the same Video Conference number across meetings makes it easy to remember, it can also create situations where the participants of the next meeting inadvertently join the previous meeting that hasn’t ended. This can be exasperated by meetings that run long.

We’ve put together some best practices for video conferencing that can help you and your team here.

Coordinating Time with Others

Another key challenge with working remotely is that it makes it much harder to know when someone is free to meet. Often times when people work from home they may have other competing challenges such as managing issues in the household, or the need to stay focused while they are working on a deadline. Just getting the event scheduled can be a pain!

In distributed teams this can be aggravated by people working in different timezones. When someone from the east coast needs to meet with someone on the west coast, they may not always remember that the latter person is 3 hours behind them. Recent changes in Daylight Savings laws can make this even more complex!

Having an effective meeting

Time is our most valuable resource, and time we have with others is precious. Meeting with other people over video can present unique challenges. These can start with the basics – can the other person see or hear you? However, it is also important that events start on time. People are much more likely to think that an event has been cancelled or changed if they get to your video conference bridge and no one is there.

Of course all meetings live or remote are better with clear agendas, objectives, decisions, and follow-up actions.

What Tools Are People Using To Video Conference Better?

So what productivity apps are people using to video conference? When we take a look at what provider. Google hangouts provides a lot of noise as most google calendar events seems o be “google hangout” enabled.

However, across all providers, Zoom is the clear leader. Followed by Hangouts, Skype, and Webex with GoToMeeting rounding out the top 5.

Woven Is Helping Power These Remote Meetings

As we take a look at this space, it’s rapidly evolving. Many people utilizing remote work in the past are now leaning heavily on it and many companies that resisted it are now embracing it. As things changes, Woven will be here helping people plan, schedule and review their meetings so you can continue to spend time on what matters most.

The Future of Work Is Here, It’s Just Unevenly Distributed

The future of work is here, it’s just unevenly distributed. As we can see from the data, the world is quickly realizing that a lot of their meetings could have been emails. And a lot of their in-person meetings could be virtually.

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We’ve seen a dramatic shift in this behavior the last week and expect it to only increase over the coming months. We’ll be updating this report and publishing our new findings as companies and organizations continue to go remote, either by choice or necessity.

In the meantime, stay safe, work hard, and take care of each other.

Tim Campos
CEO – Woven

Woven is a next-generation calendar app designed to help remote workers schedule their work and life with ease so they can get more done, become more productive, and spend time on things that matter most. You can try us out for free here.

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