June 20, 2020
The future of meetings in a post-Covid world
At the start of 2020, shareholders in the video-conferencing app Zoom were hoping for the company's steady growth to continue. They had floated on the stock market in April 2019 with a share price of $36, but were soon trading for over $60, and the company were bullish about their prospects. What nobody foresaw was that in the outbreak of a global pandemic, with stock market crashes around the world, Zoom stock rose to $159, and the company reported over 300 million daily meetings in March, compared to 10 million just a few months earlier in December. Zoom has become the new home for business meetings, catch up with friends and the dreaded quiz night with extended family members you only used to see at weddings and funerals!
There are of course issues to consider. Tesla and Space-X have banned employees from carrying out Zoom meetings due to security concerns, and in May a reporter at the Financial Times resigned after being caught accessing a Zoom meeting at the Independent newspaper outlining furloughing and pay cuts.
As recruiters it is in our DNA to want to be out, meeting our candidates and clients, putting faces to the voices we hear regularly. Its benefits are unquestionable. You get an understanding of environment, culture and so much more than a phone call and even the most detailed job brief don't give you, and business relationships are built and strengthened in a way that email and phone calls just don't allow. But will we return to this way of working once we have navigated the murky unknown waters of Covid-19? With us all becoming so used to meeting over Zoom, will it still be seen as an efficient use of our time to drive 150 miles to a meeting that can be conducted over video-conferencing tools?
I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the future of meetings in a post-Covid world below.
Paul Turrall - HSE Senior Consultant