You have to install Zoom in the first place. It has become a verb. Everyone talks about Zoom calls. It’s been adopted because it just works. Zoom capitalised on an opportunity that other tech companies did not see.
The question is what happens when you close Zoom? If you’re a traditionalist you probably go back to your Gmail or Outlook. Other people might go to Slack. To all intents and purposes, unless the phone rings that’s the last you will hear of customers and staff during the day.
Some people like this, because they can focus on deep work. They can always go have a conversation with a family member if they are in the house to keep some sort of social normality alive. For others it’s isolating and endless emails aren’t fun. The buzz of the office is missing, emails don’t convey emotion and it’s a sterile existence.
We used to get phone calls and then voice mails when calls were missed. If you call an office these days, switchboards will often say the person you want to speak to is working from home so could you send an email.
When this happens perhaps a Zoom call returns. Zoom calls need to be scheduled. You don’t just Zoom out of the blue. You need to find a diarised time that works for both parties. In addition you never schedule a 10 minute Zoom call. It’s usually 30 minutes or 1 hour.
You end up with two types of communication. Zoom calls for 30 minutes or a deluge of emails to deal with. But there is a middle ground. Those voice mails you used to get from missed called are being replaced by voice notes. Similar to how podcasting is replacing radio, voice messaging for work gives you a new way to communicate remotely.
You can take this to a new level by screencasting. This is similar to voice notes but using screen recorders you can record your screen. There is nothing new about screen recordings but they tend to be desktop applications. Any recording you do then has to be uploaded to the cloud and shared.
It’s possible to do this using QuickTime for example and then upload to either Google Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox. The problem is it takes a lot of time and there is no social networking utility.
What could you do when you close Zoom? You could start using Watch and Learn which addresses the communication gap. Watch and Learn is an all in one communication platform for remote workers and allows you to collaborate with empathy.
Instead of posting your voice notes, screencasts or video messages onto a file hosting platform in the cloud, you can go social. Timelines, private groups and direct messages give you the ability to communicate with your voice when a Zoom call is not appropriate and an email is just going to take too long to type.
You’re now in your home office and listening to voices. You’re watching screencasts. Communication is now clearer and perhaps you feel closer to your co-workers even though you are far apart.
Zoom is here to stay, it’s a company that’s captured the imagination of nations and has reliably provided infrastructure supporting distance communication. During further lockdowns it will be interesting to see what you can wrap around a video call. What happens when the video call ends? This is as important as during the call itself. Whether it’s the preparation before meetings or the actions after it, asynchronous communication makes the invisible visible and the silent heard.
Video calls are becoming a commodity. It’s what you wrap around the video to add value that matters. Anything which recreates that office buzz is worth a try. The final question is what do you do when you close down your Zoom call? Perhaps you go and put the kettle on! Back to back Zoom calls can lead to a lack of coffee breaks. Perhaps using screencasts and voice messaging for work can give you greater flexibility on how and when you work?