A Hybrid Future: New Survey Shows What Areas of Virtual Life Are Here to Stay
For more than a year, we’ve turned to video conferencing because, let’s face it, if we wanted to meet with our friends, family, and colleagues, video was our only option. But now that we’ve experienced pretty much everything virtually, how big of a role will video play in our lives going forward, as we look beyond the pandemic?
To get some sense of people’s sentiments about this, Zoom commissioned Qualtrics Research to conduct a survey that asked 7,689 people from around the world which virtual activities from the COVID-19 era they’d like to see continue. The resulting report prepared by Zoom, “How Virtual Do We Want Our Future to Be?”, was released today.
Questions were posed to everyday people – employees, parents, students, teachers, consumers, doctors, patients, and everyone in between – in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, India, Singapore, and Australia to understand their appetite for virtual activities going forward.
The survey asked about the roles video communications played in their lives for activities related to business, healthcare, education, entertainment, celebrations, events, and other common use cases. And then we asked which of those virtual activities they wanted to continue.
Overall, a large majority of those surveyed say that even after COVID-19 concerns subside, they will continue to use video communications for many aspects of their lives. Here are some of the key learnings:
- About two-thirds of those who used video for business want a mix of virtual and in-person business environments in the future, citing better work-life balance and added flexibility.
- While half of those who said they used video for healthcare or telehealth appointments want that option moving forward (especially in the United States), many respondents said they preferred in-person visits because of the doctor-patient connection they provide.
- About half of those who had used video for education during the pandemic plan some combination of in-person and virtual classes going forward. But some countries were more adamant (Germany and the UK) about in-person education than others.
- Although celebrations, worldwide, were high on the list of virtual activities respondents enjoyed during the months of COVID-19, few are keen to continue virtual-only celebrations like birthdays, holidays, and weddings. In fact, in-person was by far the preferred option for this use case.
- A large majority of respondents believed that video communications were valuable for staving off feelings of loneliness and isolation during the pandemic.
To get additional insights into how the world plans to use video going forward, and to get a better sense of how businesses, schools, and other organizations should be preparing for a more-virtual reality, check out the full report.