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Report: Video apps are a critical part of the “new normal” workplace

As the workplace has been upended by COVID-19, it is imperative for US businesses to make smart investments in video applications, according to a new report.

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Image: fizkes, Getty Images/iStockphoto

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an upending of the American workplace, forcing employees––those who haven’t yet been furloughed or laid off––to work virtually. The pandemic meant that 33% of employees would work from home for the first time ever. And as COVID-19 continues to spread, businesses are seeing that the workplace may never truly return to the way it was––and that the “new normal” will heavily rely on the tech platforms that have made collaboration possible throughout this period of uncertainty.

SEE: Coronavirus: Critical IT policies and tools every business needs (TechRepublic Premium)

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A new report, “How Video Is Changing the World,” details how, exactly, businesses can harness new online video applications to maintain an advantage in this climate. The report, which surveyed 5,000 adult consumers in France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Scandinavia, Singapore, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States who reportedly watch one hour or more of online video each day, looks at the behaviors and attitudes around video applications.

The report says businesses that were new to offering remote work struggled to meet the challenge posed by the coronavirus. But thanks to online video, some of these concerns were mollified, as 72% of Americans used this kind of technology in at least half of their daily activities. The report shows that while working from home can be a challenge to productivity, 29% of respondents report that video helps them work efficiently. It also shows that as employees struggle with mental health curing this period, and isolation is a big concern: In particular, 27% of respondents report that video is helping them feel connected to coworkers. Finally, even creativity is seen to be boosted by online video platforms––22% of those surveyed said these platforms can improve collaboration efforts.

SEE: Life after lockdown: Your office job will never be the same–here’s what to expect (cover story PDF) (TechRepublic) 
The report also looks at American attitudes toward video, which don’t quite match global attitudes. More than a third of Americans, 37%, reportedly never use video tech, versus 31% of the global average, and the frequency is also lower-–only 12% of Americans use video conferencing at least three times a day, as opposed to 21% of those responding globally.
However, the opportunities video platform tech offers are recognized––85% of Americans predict that video-based classes will increase in popularity after the pandemic. The majority of Americans (58%) think video-training courses will be useful to them personally in career development. And some (17%) see live-streaming job fairs and virtual networking events (16%) as other ways to improve their career opportunities.

SEE: COVID-19: A guide and checklist for restarting your business (TechRepublic Premium)

Whether or not organizations have gotten on board with video platforms, the fact remains that they will be an essential tool moving forward, in order to stay relevant and productive––whether there’s a large-scale move back to the office or not.

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