Recently, a Zoom executive has stated that he believes that hybrid working is going to be a permanent fixture of office life from now on. Ricky Kapur, Zoom's head of Asia Pacific, predicts that even when the pandemic is ending, a newfound acceptance of home working will drive Zoom to maintain its momentum, or even grow.
While a Zoom executive would obviously never publicly predict that their product was about to take a dip in usefulness due to a return to office, the fact that the pandemic is still raging and that many businesses have fully adopted a home-working system does add some credence to his prediction.
No one can predict the future (who could have foreseen a global pandemic would have sent us all home for two years?), but Kapur is confident that Zoom has potential to grow over the coming years, as both web conferencing software, and beyond.
What Did the Zoom Executive Say?
Kapur cited three main reasons as to why Zoom is poised to grow over the coming years. Firstly, he believes that companies are gearing up to provide inclusive, collaborative and hybrid work environments for staff.
“Employees are demanding flexible work arrangements and the ability to work frictionless, irrespective of where they are.”
– Ricky Kapur, Zoom's Head of Asia Pacific
Secondly, he believes that companies are looking to revolutionize the customer experience, with consumers demanding more convenience.
“Whether it’s a retail experience, the ability to live feed into the store and speak with a live person — see a product, have a real conversation, and then make a purchase decision. Consumers are expecting that from companies.”
– Ricky Kapur, Zoom's Head of Asia Pacific
The third big shift is that businesses that are traditionally online are looking to build innovative new platforms that can attract new customers, especially in areas such as health care and education. This can include things like online consultations or lectures, which aren't necessarily brand new, but aren't widespread either.
Basically, while Zoom hit its big break due to the pandemic, Kapur is hoping that the changes that we've experienced as a society will push us into using Zoom in brand new ways even once the pandemic is winding down (if that finally happens).
Is There Anything Behind Those Words?
Of course, it's not ridiculous to say that a Zoom executive is not the pinnacle of objectivity when it comes to the future of remote working. At its most innocent it's wishful thinking, but could even be construed as him doing his best to sway public opinion in favor of Zoom.
So what is the public opinion outside of those with skin in the game? Well it's a tough question; the pandemic has been around for a while now, and at this point, a lot of its side effects are permanent. For example, vaccine mandates are looking to be permanent fixtures of both businesses and governments worldwide.
With that said, it's seeming like hybrid or remote working will somewhat become ingrained in various industries. Businesses can save on offices, equipment, and various other costs if they're able to operate remotely, not to mention they'll be able to hire from a wider pool, since commuting becomes less of an issue. Even though this is to Zoom's benefit, it does seem as though remote/hybrid working is going to be a bigger element of our society going forward.
The Future of Home Working
Kapur might be right — working from home is becoming much more of a societal lynchpin than it was before. Which is why business owners should think about adopting software platforms to run some of their more complex or everyday systems, as software can be a lot more conducive to remote working.
Obviously, video-conferencing software has enjoyed a massive explosion during the pandemic. For example, Zoom itself took the world by storm as COVID-19 sent a lot of us home.
As another example, in offices, teams could use a whiteboard and post-it notes to show the progression of a project. However, now that no one is in the same room, project management software can fill that hole, as it allows multiple team members to visualize the progress of a project.
It's not just software for individual teams that help companies run smoother either. Larger scale systems like HR and accounting can be easily expedited and improved through use of software.