Our good old friend Zoom has been one of the most popular video-conferencing tools for a while. In 2021, it was one of the fastest-growing apps on the market, growing by an astounding 2,900%.
It’s easy to install, and use, and it’s free. You don't even need to create an account to join in on a Zoom meeting.
What’s not to like?
At the moment, Zoom is an extremely useful tool. Schools, news outlets, and companies from all four corners of the globe. But will things remain the same?
When talking about video conferencing software like Zoom or virtual office software like Kosy, one can't help but wonder what the emergence of the Metaverse will bring.
Virtual Meetings are Here to Stay
Before we go deeper into the topic, we need to answer an important question: will things remain the same even after things go back to normal?
If you're not sure about this, we got one thing to tell you: welcome to the world of hybrid work, friends.
More than 500,000 companies around the world are using Zoom now. And you know what? They'll continue to do so, even if everything gets back to the way it was before all of this started.
How can we be so sure about that?
Well, people like it. For instance, a recent survey of over 5,000 remote team members revealed that 85% had a good time working over the past two years.
At the moment, around 56% of the American workforce is ready for remote and hybrid work. Meaning that more than half the population can become full-time remote team members right now.
As time goes by, that number will go up. While it can't reach 100%, most people will be able to work from home.
Will all of them be on Zoom?
How Zoom Took Over the Business World
Originally launched in 2011, no one knew that Zoom would become what it is today. Especially not its founder, Eric S. Yuan.
Back then, the app was created as a solution for webinars and video conferencing. It’s safe to say it achieved that goal – and so much more.
Although originally envisioned as a business tool, Zoom even became popular among non-business users, making its main competitor, Skype, nearly obsolete.
Over the past few years, Zoom usage skyrocketed due to obvious reasons. In 2022, the company has had a stellar first quarter – just check out these numbers!
What Are the Biggest Drawbacks of Video Conferences?
As it always goes, things might be good - but they're not THAT good. Zoom conferences have their drawbacks. Even among those who enjoy working from home.
In the first few months of the crisis, mental and physical health presented major concerns. Some people are adapting, but things still aren't perfect. Even in the business sense, people aren't all that satisfied with the increased use of virtual conferencing tools.
But let’s go back to the mental health aspect of the conversation… What are some of the things people are complaining about?
Research shows that people who use video conferencing tools like Zoom too often report:
- Feeling overwhelmed with information - Video calls are draining for many people because it forces them to focus intently on conversations and absorb a copious amount of information in a short amount of time.
- Too much eye contact - During meetings, your eyes are constantly fixed on the people you’re talking to. Intense close-up eye contact can increase the amount of stress you feel during a meeting.
- Reduction in mobility - In normal circumstances, you walk around the office between meetings even if you have a tight schedule. Zoom calls decrease your mobility and, in turn, hinder your cognitive ability.
- Seeing yourself during calls - Looking at yourself, making sure you look good, adjusting the camera angle, checking the lights… all of that’s extremely draining. It can cause you to be a lot more critical of your appearance.
Feeling all of these symptoms can burn you out…
What’s Zoom Fatigue and Why Do People Experience It?
Over the last year or two, many new phrases have entered our collective vocabulary due to the lockdown.
Zoom fatigue is one of them.
The phrase describes a state of mental exhaustion associated with the increased use of video conferencing tools.
Simply put, some people simply start feeling too exhausted to talk to their teammates over Zoom.
Yes, you can easily change how you interact with your teammates. Emails are nothing new. Slack can be really useful. A short Zoom meeting is when you need to talk to your teammate about a certain task.
We've adapted our social behaviors to the situation. But we're missing one thing: real human interaction.
Establishing a Deeper Connection in the Metaverse
That’s where the Metaverse comes in.
The Metaverse is a virtual world where people can enter and interact with others in a completely virtual environment. You've undoubtedly heard about Mark Zuckerberg's interest in it. He named his new company after it, after all.
For years, science fiction fans have been dreaming about the metaverse. And now, with the help of new technology, that dream can become a reality.
Zoom meetings are cost-effective and quick; we can't deny that. But it can make work boring and repetitive. The problem is that bored people aren't engaged. And disengaged people don’t produce results.
Even before all of this, more than half of working adults in the US didn't feel engaged. If all they have are dull Zoom meetings, the number will go down even more.
With the Metaverse, we can have virtual conferences that are much more engaging. And, as you can imagine, virtual events in the Metaverse are already being organized.
One of the most critical aspects of the Metaverse is the ability to establish a deeper connection with others. In a virtual world, we can interact with people in a way that's impossible in the real world.
Will Zoom Survive the Metaverse?
Why did we ask this question in the first place? First off, we’ve already talked about the issues with Zoom fatigue.
We need to figure out how to work online without feeling completely burned out. For that, we need to rethink what is needed for a team working remotely to thrive.
What will that new platform look like?
Hard to say – but here are some boxes we feel have it has to tick:
- Enjoyable and straightforward to use - You should be able to get started without any training. It should also be enjoyable to use, given the many hours you’ll spend on it.
- Limited cognitive impact - Zoom fatigue needs to go. Video control, eye contact issues, and the strain of feeling too close to the other person have to be tackled.
- More conversation fluidity - The number of conversations you have each day has decreased since we went remote. But spontaneous chats make teams feel connected, so the platform must enable entering and leaving conversations fluidly.
- No more awkwardness - The awkwardness of starting a video call hasn’t been addressed yet. Physical cues and body language have to be replaced by a digital equivalent to remove the awkwardness of virtual meetings.
Will Zoom become that platform? Potentially…. But we feel it's unlikely given their core DNA, which relies on high-quality video calls rather than human video calls.
The new platform that’ll win will focus on the core objective of making human interactions more human – and be fully built around that.
Zoom was perfect for a hybrid world where you needed conferencing software for a few hours per week. But in the virtual workspace, everyone lives online and participates in multiple video conference calls every day.
We know that virtual interactions will happen more frequently in the future – but is Zoom the software to make them happen? Right now, it’s not.
Can it become that software? Certainly.
Will it become? Only time will tell.
The virtual office software of the future will be much more advanced, so Zoom will need to keep up with the progress or be left behind.
Want to experience the Metaverse workplace now?
Then you need to give Kosy a try. You can simulate a real office, chat with teammates, collaborate in a virtual setting, and build on ideas together in real-time.