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Zoom is making the ‘work-from-anywhere’ future
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Zoom is making the ‘work-from-anywhere’ future

When the pandemic shut down offices, the world of work changed. Millions of us took our laptops home and opened up modern video communication platforms like Zoom, picking up where we left off without a hitch. In the last year, users have spent more than 3.5 trillion minutes — equivalent to 6.5 million years — on Zoom calls. But what started as a stopgap measure to tide us over while we worked from home has become an integral part of the new world of work.

Hybrid working is likely to be the norm as offices change solely from places of daily productivity into something more like gathering spaces. The ability to work from wherever we want in the world — whether that's our own kitchen or a sun trap in a far-flung country — means that employers are more accepting of working outside the office. The U.K. government is rumored to be enshrining right-to-work flexibility into law. It all augurs a new future where work is a space, not a place.

It's all part of the seamless transition to the workplace of tomorrow.

The challenge is, how do organizations ensure they're enabling teams to do their best work in this new world? According to Zoom CEO Eric S. Yuan, "The same three themes come up again and again: talent, transformation and trust. Organizations that empower talent to be productive from anywhere, reimagine their legacy processes and provide secure, safe and private means to collaborate can build forward with confidence."

A survey of 12,000 employees by Boston Consulting Group found 60% of respondents want flexibility as far as where and when they work. "As the world plans to safely reopen businesses, educational institutions, health care facilities and government entities, we are focused on innovating across our platform to support their needs," said Oded Gal, chief product officer at Zoom.

The company also conducted a survey of its own, which showed that now that people have tried the hybrid work model, they'd like to maintain elements of it, even as the world reopens. Two-thirds of respondents said they would prefer a hybrid work model over solely working from home or in the office, with most people saying large group meetings should be held virtually from now on. Doing so through Zoom enables businesses both big and small to break through siloes and encourage collaborative, cooperative working.

It's all part of a new social and business movement, enabling the work-from-anywhere revolution. "As hybrid teams return to the office, workspace needs will be different," said Yuan. "When I think about the role of video communications in this context, I believe they'll provide the foundation to empower people to accomplish great things." And Zoom's solutions enable that to happen, wherever someone is in the world.

Zoom has already done that across the education, arts and business sectors, as well as in journalism. London theater The Old Vic moved its performances online with the help of Zoom during the pandemic, as did MozFest, Mozilla's annual global festival. Indian schools and Quinnipiac University shifted teaching to video using the platform, while the U.K.'s Channel 4 News began broadcasting from anchors' homes using Zoom.

"Zoom gave me confidence and certainty and enabled me to work from home with no diminution of service," said Jon Snow, a Channel 4 News presenter. Indeed, Zoom often forecasted what was needed before those using it knew they did. "It became almost an inside joke that when we thought about something that we wished we had, we could literally wait a couple of weeks because Zoom was probably working on it," said a staff member at Quinnipiac University.

All these examples are a preview of a hybrid future of work defined by flexibility, whether inside an office or out. While many people first encountered Zoom as a video communication platform at the start of the pandemic, it's much more than that. Zoom's rapidly expanding ecosystem includes more than 1,000 marketplace apps today, making it flexible to any vertical, team, workstream or work culture. It provides a unified communications hub, combining video and web conferencing with phone, chat and conference rooms.

The best teams will use a combination of co-location and remote work for maximum productivity. They'll harness tools such as messaging and whiteboarding apps, alongside Zoom for Home, which turns devices into collaborative whiteboards and displays for all-important work meetings. It's all part of the seamless transition to the workplace of tomorrow.

Organizations using Zoom span the private and public sector, and are big and small. While every organization requires an always-on, secure method of communication, for the public sector it's less about continuity of business and more about continuity of government.

Zoom for Government has Authorizations to Operate, or ATOs, widely across the U.S. federal government, including the Department of Defense and Executive Office of the President. Zoom is trusted by many of the world's biggest, most admired and highest-regulated companies in the private sector.

They do so because of Zoom's modern architecture, which runs across 21 co-located data center locations worldwide as well as the public cloud. The platform keeps hundreds of millions of daily meeting participants connected every day, in groups as small as two and as large as 1,000. In a world where cybersecurity is more important than ever, Zoom is committed to enhancing the security and privacy of its platform and services. Last year, the company introduced 100-plus security and privacy features, including 256-bit AES-GCM encryption, controlled data routing and much more.

It's a straightforward ethos that has propelled Zoom to become the linchpin of the world's response to the pandemic, and one that has kept us all connected during the most trying of times. It's building forward to be trusted today, and transforming tomorrow.