The future of work will be a hybrid of office and remote working, according to Zoom CEO Eric Yuan.
Yuan addressed Zoomtopia attendees during the conference’s opening keynote, reflecting on what has been a standout year for the company.
Like many events this year, the company’s annual user conference was held virtually, with Yuan noting that a lot has changed since the first Zoomtopia:
“We have come a long way from our first Zoomtopia, from hundreds of attendees to tens of thousand attendees. From a physical event to a 100% virtual event. So much has changed.”
This year has seen Zoom go from simply a video conferencing app to a key aspect of remote working. It has seen its revenue grow by 355% in Q2.
Yuan noted that the company has experienced “incredible growth” in 2020:
“This year has been one of incredible growth. From more than three trillion annualised meeting minutes, 300 million daily meeting participants, Zoom is now 14th in the global Alexa website rankings, sixth in the US and earlier this year our IOS app was ranked number one for 68 consecutive days from March 16th to May 23rd.”
Yuan also shared some insight into how the company has handled the rapid growth in user numbers:
“The question that many are asking is how did we scale our business to handle more than 30 times the traffic and increase in all kinds of new use cases…looking back the most important element was our company’s culture and value. Zoom’s culture is summed up in two words. Deliver happiness….as a CEO my number one priority is to make sure our employees our happy. If our employees our happy then they can make our users and customers happy.”
The Zoom CEO also gave details of new products coming to the platform. Zoom’s security was called into question earlier in the year, with the company responding with the rollout of end-to-end encryption following the acquisition of cryptographic startup Keybase.
Yuan said that this optional feature will become available to both free and paid Zoom users next week.
The company has also unveilled OnZoom, a platform for Zoom users to create and host free and paid-for events which other Zoom users can attend.
It also launched Zapps, which allows users to access third-party developed apps such as Dropbox and Slack from within a Zoom meeting. It is also adding to its software development kits in order to enable developers and companies to “enrich their own custom video-based applications with Zoom’s platform”.
The company has also announced updates for its core unified communications platform, including custom background themes for meetings, enhanced webinar features, video waiting rooms and new Zoom Phone features.
Yuan also said that upcoming features could include an option to move from one meeting to the next in one click.
“What does the future of work look like after the pandemic?”
With Zoom’s growth so closely linked to the rise in remote working, Yuan also outlined his vision for the future of work, predicting that a hybrid approach may be on the horizon:
“We know now there’s no productivity loss [in remote working], employee engagement is getting even better when working from home, but the mental health of employees, maintaining company culture and driving creativity are all more challenging.”
“What does the future of work look like after the pandemic? Making all employees go back to the office every day does seem like the solution. We know remote working works but allowing all employees to work from home forever is also too aggressive because we need and we benefit from social interaction. That’s why we believe the future of work is a true hybrid. For example, companies may encourage employees to be in the office on the same days of the week and home on other days to maximise the benefits of their time together.”
He emphasised the need to invest in cutting-edge technology to facilitate this shift:
“We must innovate faster to support this new paradigm shift. We need more devices that support work from home. We need to improve collaboration tools and we need to make sure remote employees are on equal footing with those joining in from conference rooms. Also we need to think beyond the home and office by integrating with autonomous cars so that your vehicle can become a moving workplace when commuting back and forth.”
“We need to invest more in artificial intelligence to give to give the right people the right access to information when they need it most. Also we need to develop ways of knowing when you need to take a break by analysing your workload…we need to make video calls as enjoyable as possible.”