Before COVID, the concept of video conferencing was associated with a negative connotation. There was something valuable about holding meetings in person that video conferencing couldn't accomplish.
Stay at home changed this perception overnight. Suddenly society fully embraced virtual socialization. Company executives were holding meetings in the confines of their homes, birthdays were being thrown, and college diplomas were being handed out, all through a camera lens on our computers.
Zoom was at the forefront of this phenomenal social adaptation that accelerated in a matter of weeks. With the meeting room's ability to see every meeting attendees face on one screen and hold meetings that included the 400 students of a university elective course, an unsolvable problem became solvable.
Now, every tech company is scrambling to be a part of a future $50 billion industry of virtual meeting rooms that was once worth just $14 billion in 2019. Facebook and Google have already released their own spin offs of Zoom.
Virtual meetings have provided companies like Facebook and Amazon with the opportunity to keep their employees at home instead of financing office buildings around the world. The economic trade off has proven to be significant when employers began comparing the fixed costs of office real estate and transportation to wifi and company electronics that can be mailed to their employees' home address.
"As corporate execs, we are realizing that everything we did in a 50 hour work week can be accomplished within 36 hours on our computers at home," said the CEO of a hedge fund in manhattan.
If Zoom will be able to remain the leading provider of efficient video communication amidst their rising competition remains to be seen. Regardless, their effect on employee management has been a precursor to the future of the office space.