Let’s rewind to December 2019. We were still gathering in groups, hosting meetings in stuffy conference rooms, and living a rather carefree lifestyle that our citizenship affords us. Among the icy winds and snowy landscapes of winter, a rumor began to circulate of a new virus. It began in the far eastern corner of the world, in a place called Wuhan in eastern China; spreading rapidly as the months drew on and winter’s hold began to diminish.
Fast forward to April and May of this year; schools closed down, businesses shut their doors, the death toll began to rise, and most of American society came to a standstill. Our very way of life was threatened by something as simple as a virus, leaving in its wake economic, societal, and political devastation.
Most importantly, the COVID-19 epidemic has changed how we interact with one another. The need to social distance has taught us one very important lesson: how badly we need one another. In the wake of these changes, web conferencing platforms have become the new bars, conference rooms, libraries, and gathering places, which begs the question, “will web conferencing become the new norm?”
How COVID Has Changed The Way We Communicate
COVID-19 is what’s known as a coronavirus. The crown shape of the virus (corona means “crown”) allows the virus to latch onto healthy cells. Once it’s made its way in, it hijacks the cell’s ability to reproduce; copying itself over and over again, filling the host body with more viral cells.
This is how a virus replicates and causes the disease that damages the body. COVID-19 in particular can be spread via respiratory droplets, which means that even the very act of talking or breathing can potentially expose someone to the virus. These respiratory droplets can also be spread by coughing or sneezing, and the virus can live on hard surfaces for days.
The way COVID-19 spreads is why social distancing measures are effective. This means talking in person is less of an option, and there needs to be a replacement. Cue web conferencing tools. Without these tools, we might have no way to communicate with loved ones, clients, and employees during these difficult times.
Web Conferencing Tools Have Flourished
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, web conferencing tools have flourished. Now, not only are businesses and individuals in need of a secure and reliable communication method, but schools, government agencies, and universities are too.
Safer, Easier, More Accessible
Web conferencing services offer a safer, simpler, and more accessible way to communicate over long distances or with several people simultaneously. If you tried to use a landline to host 500 callers, it likely wouldn’t work; and, even if it did, your phone bill would likely bankrupt your business.
Online conferencing tools can host hundreds or even thousands of callers. There are both video and audio-only options available, so you can host video conference calls, webinars, and so much more from anywhere in the world. Accessing the call is simple with a dial-in number or web link.
Many conferencing tools offer extra features as well, such as screen sharing capabilities, call recording, and more. It’s likely that we’ll see a lot more businesses utilizing these services in the future to better connect remotely and streamline meetings.
Meetings are a Drag, After All
If we’re being honest, very few people actually enjoy going to meetings, but meeting from the comfort of your own home can make it seem a little less painful. Virtual meetings can yield the same (or greater) results as an in-person meeting while still maintaining social distancing rules. Not to mention, you won’t have to be stuffed inside of a conference room that doesn’t have any air conditioning!
The Post-COVID World
It’s not easy to imagine what a post-COVID world will look like. The uncertainty of the situation has only grown as death tolls rise and fall and America’s cases continue to rise. What is clear is that we can’t go back to the way things were. If COVID shows us anything, it’s that we need other people. Communication and relationships are so very important to the human experience, and when we’re lacking in them, the effects are catastrophic.
Perhaps the problem is that we didn’t communicate enough or effectively before. We didn’t say I love you as much, or I appreciate you, or great job, and we didn’t value our employees, clients, or co-workers as we should.
There’s a good chance that the post-COVID world will include web conferencing as a principle means of communication for businesses. With so many options available and the benefits of meeting virtually in plain view, it’s easy to see why businesses would adopt this practice instead of traditional meetings.