Remote work combined with physical office presence – or the hybrid working model – is “here to stay,” said Sam Tayan, the head of MENA at video conference giant, Zoom.
Despite the recent global peak of coronavirus putting remote work firmly back on the table, Tayan told Arabian Business its longevity is related more to the convenience of working remotely versus government mandates to curb the spread of the virus.
“Many people are continuing remote work because they’re finding it a little bit more efficient and suitable to the style of work that they’re doing. We’re also seeing a hybrid [model] where people sometimes physically go into the office and sometimes work from home or from wherever they want for that matter,” said Tayan.
“The reasons are no longer specifically related to restrictions that may have been imposed but rather choices that people are making. Obviously, nobody likes getting stuck in a traffic jam and when you do remote meetings in certain situations, you can get more done in a day,” he continued.
As in-person events make a comeback in Dubai, it might seem like webinars and virtual events are a thing of the past but once again the future is a combination of both models.
“We’re seeing a lot of events being done physically and virtually simultaneously, giving everybody an opportunity to attend and contribute,” said Tayan.
“If you’re hosting an in-person event, you’ll get certain people attending. If you’re running a virtual event, you will maybe get more an international audience of people who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to participate. It’s also much easier to attract VIP speakers, when you give them a virtual option. Because quite often, when you want to get to VIP to speak for 30 minutes, getting him to sit down at his desk and speak over a Zoom link is a different calculation, in terms of their schedules, than if you are asking them to travel and so on,” he continued.
Given its convenience, Tayan believes hybrid and remote working are “here to stay.”
“There are many benefits to it, not in the least regarding the environmental impact. All of us have people whom we’ve met several times over Zoom, and who we feel a great familiarity with when we finally meet them in person,” explained Tayan.
“I’m sure a lot of in the Middle East have groups of friends or relatives in different countries whom they interact with over video conferencing. So I think everything has its role and it’s not all about the negative reasons for using video collaboration, but rather there’s many positive reasons which will continue to have an impact on the use,” he added.
Zoom has adapted to this new reality of hybrid work by introducing tools such as Zoom Rooms which accounts for meetings taking place between people physically present in the office and those working remotely joining the meeting over video calls.
“On events, we introduced Zoom Events, a premier events solution which raises the bar in terms of the sophistication and features you can put into your virtual events,” said Tayan.
When it comes to combating the dreaded “Zoom fatigue” brought on by hours of staring at a screen, Tayan recommends the following: “One tip I always give is to get a great chair. The chair you sit on and the way you sit can help a great deal.”
“My other top tip is to leave a five-minute gap between meetings and have a walk around. Because video calls are conversational, you end up taking many of them back to back so try and put a five-minute gap in between each and have a walk around to stretch your leg,” he continued.
Coronavirus can be credited for the spike in the regional adoption of video technology with Zoom having gained around 100,000 free or paid subscribers in the first week after a ban on video technology in the UAE was lifted in March last year as the pandemic took hold.
This content was originally published here.