Will Purcell
Written By:
A lot has changed in 2020. Due to the Covid-19 global pandemic, businesses across virtually every industry have been forced to change their ‘status quo’, as basic tasks, such as meetings and presentations, are no longer conducted in face-to-face formats.
The solution to these changes? Video conferencing. But for businesses, is this virtual medium here to stay? Or is it just a passing fad? We take a look at these questions using data to summarize:
  • The improvements and changes leading up to 2020
  • The drastic shift to video conferencing for the current climate
  • Forecasts for future industry trends

It’s likely most companies have a work-from-home policy, or at least offer the option of remote work for employees who need it during special circumstances. Even before the pandemic, these options were available; now, remote work has quickly become a necessity for nearly every business in 2020.

Fortunately, innovation and improvements in technology have made the recent transition to video conferencing relatively easy.

So, whether it’s schools conducting virtual open houses, or businesses simply learning to host webinars for the first time, video conferencing has certainly become a standard business practice.

But, how exactly did we get here? Sure, the Covid-19 pandemic moved the needle for video conferencing for 2020, but what about the years leading up to 2020?

The Rise of Video Conferencing

A strong push for globalization has increased the need for better connectivity worldwide. That’s one of the many reasons why video conferencing has seen a progressive rise in the past decade. However, the previous 3-5 years are where we see the biggest jump in usage. These statistics highlight the steady increase in video conferencing into what we now in the world of modern business.

1. From 2015-2018 live video chat usage with businesses and brands grew by 233%. (Source)

Advances in software, such as Facetime, Skype, and video calling on social media contributed to this massive increase in video live chat during the three-year span.

The transition for businesses to adopt these practices, in particular, has been steady, but necessary. For instance, with online orders, globalization, and remote work, live video chat in the modern era has become a necessity for virtually every industry.

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2. Nearly 1 in 3 U.S. citizens are using live video chats to communicate with businesses or service providers. (Source)

This study from two years ago identifies a massive leap over the previous three years (nearly three times from 2015). The rise in consumer-to-business video communications has only risen since then as well.

In fact, this same report revealed that 25% of Americans that had not used a video chat to communicate with a business in 2018 said they expected to do so in the near future.

3. Video conferencing has become a necessity, as regular work-at-home has grown by 173% since 2005. (Source)

During this same time, the growth rate for working-from-home was 11% faster than the rest of the workforce. Aiding in this growth is the fact that 56% of employees have a job where at least some of what they do could be done remotely.

A Citrix 2019 poll explored at-home work options even further and found that 62% of employees believe they could work remotely as well.

4. At least 36% of employees work remotely at least once per week. (Source)

This survey from GetApp highlights that 36% of respondents work remotely at least once a week, while 22% work remotely at least 1-3 times per month.

On the surface these metrics may not seem too consequential, but considering the number of people working remotely at least once a week was less than 10% in 2010, the current numbers show remote work has nearly quadrupled in the past decade.

5. Global Internet usage saw 9% growth from 2018-2019. (Source)

It’s no secret that Internet usage has steadily grown since launching in 1991. In fact, roughly 56% of the global population is made of Internet users.

That growth reflects a 9% increase from 2018, which translates to a growth rate of 1 million new Internet users every day, or 11 new users every second.

The Drastic Shift to Video Conferencing in 2020

It’s no secret the story of 2020 has been the Covid-19 pandemic. At one point, nearly a third of the global population was under some sort of lockdown, meaning the need for effective remote communication reached unprecedented levels.

Companies like Zoom have experienced some of the largest growth during the Covid-19 pandemic, as video communication during the time of crisis became a necessity for an overwhelming majority of organizations.

These statistics provide more insights into how Covid-19 caused a drastic shift into video conferencing along with the current trends we’re now seeing as a result.

6. Mobile usage at workplaces in the United States has decreased by 13% in 2020. (Source)

Google’s community mobility reports highlights data and movement trends across the world with categories broken down into regions and specific industries.

Not surprisingly, mobile usage at workplaces decreased by 13% compared to baseline numbers so far in 2020. Equally unsurprising is the fact that mobile usage in residential places during the same time increased as well.

7. Of the 39% of workers who didn’t work remotely prior to Covid-19, 8% say they’d like to continue working remotely following Covid-19. (Source)

PwC’s US Remote Work Survey highlights the importance of the modern office in the U.S. both before and after lockdowns from Covid-19. Not surprisingly, most employees would like to work remotely at least two days a week following lockdowns.

To that point, 8% of employees who had no remote work prior to lockdowns would now like to work remotely in some capacity. The specific reasons for remote work fluctuate, but most can be categorized by convenience and safety.

8. 68% of video calling now takes place on mobile devices. (Source)

Video chatting on mobile devices has become the most popular source for video calls, rising above desktop and laptop devices.

This study also found that two out of five people reported they are using video chatting more than they did a year ago. Not surprisingly, millennials are the largest group of live video users, which undoubtedly adds to the drastic rise of video chats on mobile devices.

9. Nearly half of companies choose Zoom or Skype for Business for their video conferencing needs. (Source)

Based on a response from over 1,000 video conferencing users for their business, the two preferred platforms are Zoom and Skype for Business.

Moreover, these two platforms hold nearly 50% of the market. Interestingly enough, companies with more than 500 employees preferred using Skype for Business while the majority of companies with 500 employees or fewer preferred using Zoom.

10. 58% of businesses use video conferencing in some capacity to aid with their everyday operations. (Source)

This report not only shows the overwhelming number of businesses currently using video conferencing software but also reveals that more than half the U.S. workforce frequently takes part in video conferencing as well.

This trend is only expected to rise too, as nearly half of the global workforce is expected to telecommute within the next decade.

11. First-time installations of Zoom’s mobile app have risen by 728% (Source)

This according to SensorTower, a marketing intelligence firm that specializes in app statistics and growth, shows the dramatic increase in Zoom usage over the past month.

This data reveals the drastic increase in Zoom usage with an unprecedented 728% increase in app downloads since March 2nd of this year.

12. Zoom’s fourth-quarter fiscal year revenue was up 78% year-over-year. (Source)

The fourth quarter provided positive growth with a final number of $188.3 million in total revenue. Eric Yuhan, the Founder, and CEO of Zoom breaks down the overall growth with:

  • GAAP Income from operations – $11 million
  • Non-GAAP income from operations – $38 million
  • Operating Cash Flow – $37 million

13. Nearly 82,000 customers with more than 10 employees used Zoom in the Fourth Fiscal Quarter. (Source)

The approximate number of customers with more than 10 employees was 81,900, which is a 61% increase from the same quarter last year as well.

This trend further solidifies the strong fourth quarter Zoom experienced with nearly universal company-wide growth. The latest growth is expected to carry into the new fiscal year as well, as total revenue is expected to be between $199 and $201 million.

14. Zoom’s total revenue for the full fiscal year 2020 was up 88% year-over-year. (Source)

Driven by overwhelming fourth-quarter growth, Zoom recently announced its total revenue for the fiscal year was $622.7 million.

Zoom’s report notes that an increase in acquiring new customers and an expansion across existing customers has led to positive growth.

15. Zoom’s total revenue for the second quarter of the fiscal year 2021 was up 355% year-over-year. (Source)

Zoom continues to dominate video conferencing software with total revenue eclipsing $633 million for the second quarter, which ended on July 31st, 2020.

GAAP income from operations during the quarter was also $188 million, which is a massive increase from $2.3 million during the second quarter of the previous fiscal year.

16. 87% of employees feel more connected with their coworkers when using video conferencing software. (Source)

This metric from Gigaom highlights the importance of video conferencing and remote technology for companies in the modern era.

In addition to outlining the benefits of the relatively low cost for benefits to use video conferencing software, the report also identifies the enhanced sense of connectivity employees feel to one another and the process of conducting business overall.

17. Since January 2020, Microsoft has seen a 500% increase in Team meetings, calling, and conferences. (Source)

A direct impact of widespread work-from-home policies being implemented due to COVID-19, Microsoft’s software has experienced a massive increase in remote use.

The Microsoft Teams software, in particular, has risen by 200% on mobile devices alone. These dramatic increases have caused companies like Microsoft to quickly ensure their services can withstand such a drastic surge in widespread usage as well.

The Future of Video Conferencing

The data above in part highlights a heightened need for video conferencing due to nationwide lockdowns. However, now that businesses are reopening and people are starting to return to work: What will video conferencing look like in the immediate future, or a decade from now?

The statistics below shed some light on these questions and the future of video communication strategies overall.

18. It’s estimated nearly 30% of the workforce will move to work-from-home/remote environments multiple days a week by the end of 2021. (Source)

This quote from Kate Lister, the President of Global Workplace Analysis, not only highlights the current trend of employees working remotely, but also forecasts a considerable increase in remote work for the future as well.

Their estimates are also influenced by a survey issued before the COVID-19 pandemic, which revealed 80% of employees actually prefer to work remotely at least some of the time. Not only that, but a third of survey respondents also said they would take a pay cut just to have a work-from-home option.

19. Globally, the video conferencing market is expected to register a compound annual growth rate of nearly 10% over the next 7 years. (Source)

Just last year, the global market for video conferencing was valued at 3.85 billion dollars. This report from Grand View Research also expects a steady market increase of 9.9% each year from 2020-2027.

Faster decision making and savings on travel are just a few of the benefits Grand View Research cites as the reason why companies are drawn more to video conferencing.

20. By 2024, it’s expected global web conferencing will be a 20 billion dollar market. (Source)

This information from Global Market Insights further solidifies the projected steady growth listed in the data above from Grand View Research. The report reveals that an increase in globalization is the main cause of the rise in video conferencing.

Additionally, the report shows that price decreases in video conferencing products and software itself have also impacted the growth and demand for the market on a global scale.

Utilizing Video Conferencing for your Business

As you can see, the need for video conferencing has, and continues to rise at drastic rates. Now more than ever before, companies are using video conferencing software to connect with employees, clients, and partners both locally and globally.

Granted, the latest surge can be attributed to stay-at-home orders in response to the global pandemic. But moving forward, data and research suggest that video conferencing and webinars are here to stay. Not only that, most employees feel that working remotely in some capacity, even on a once-per-week basis would have a positive impact on their career development.

To that point, how much the business landscape changes in the long term due to the current climate remains to be seen. However, one thing that is abundantly clear is the fact that video conferencing has become a valuable tool for companies to continue operations—even during a global pandemic.


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