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The pandemic was a period of immense change. As more and more businesses embraced distributed work, video conferencing took center stage in both our personal and professional lives. In the first two months of 2020, the web and video conferencing market increased by 500%.

Fast-forward to 2022, and this need hasn’t changed. Companies have quickly discovered how cost-effective remote work can be with the right tools. Add to that the rising cost of utilities, a potential gas shortage, a looming global recession — and it’s clear why video conferences remain essential, reaching a total market value of $6.87 billion.

There is every indication that this growth will continue, reaching an anticipated $14.58 billion by 2029. But financial figures alone do not convey the full value of video conferencing for businesses. Nor do they express why businesses will need video more than ever in 2023. 

For that, we’ll need a deeper dive into the trends that defined video conferencing in 2022. 

Remote Work is Still Going Strong

Anyone who attempts to force a return to traditional work is in for an extremely rude awakening. According to Owl Lab’s State of Remote Work 2021 survey, 90% of remote employees either felt as productive or more productive than they were in the office. Although 73% of employees returned to the office at least one day a week, 71% want either a hybrid or remote workplace. 

Additionally, 57% of people prefer working from home full-time, and a third would quit their job if no longer allowed to work remotely. Video conferencing plays a direct role in supporting this new work landscape.

And thankfully, both technology and connectivity have finally caught up. While Internet access is still a challenge in certain regions, rapid advancements in 5G technology and fiber optic rollouts have made the transition easier in densely populated regions and cities, providing more reliable connectivity than traditional 4G or cable internet.

What we know is clear: continued adoption of 5G and fiber optic will make remote work easier for companies, especially in industries that require reliable and high performance connectivity.

Video Conferencing Tools Are Still Immensely Valuable

Within the context of hybrid work, video conferencing tools confer significant benefits, boosting productivity, job satisfaction, and collaboration whilst simultaneously reducing overhead: 

  • Up to 93% of communication is nonverbal in nature; video ensures less is lost in translation. 
  • 94% of businesses feel that video conferencing improves productivity
  • 90% of companies say that video makes it easier to get their point across.
  • For 89% of people, video conferencing reduces the time required to complete projects.
  • Adding video to a meeting can improve productivity by up to 50%.
  • Businesses that leverage video conferencing typically see a 30% reduction in travel costs
  • 43% of business travelers look forward to traveling less after the pandemic.

In 2021, 38% of companies upgraded their video tools to support a hybrid environment. That same year, overall utilization of video communication software increased by nearly 80%. In 2022, businesses are also considering multiple video-focused technology expansions and upgrades, including desktop IP video conferencing (52% of companies), HD in-room video conferencing (42% of companies), and immersive telepresence (23% of companies).

Video Conferencing Is Now About Far More Than Video

The phrase ‘video conferencing tool’ is rapidly becoming a misnomer. Rather than simple meeting platforms, most video conferencing solutions now integrate additional functionality such as a built-in API, custom tooling, file sharing, digital whiteboards, and live chat. In the past year, we’ve also increasingly seen artificial intelligence used for real-time captioning, optimization, and translation

Personalization options and gamification are also gaining ground, providing users with deeper customization and a more enjoyable experience. 

Some Organizations Still Struggle to Implement Video

For some companies, the adoption of video conferencing technology is a difficult prospect, rife with roadblocks. These barriers are not solely business-oriented, either. Even if the company successfully deploys a video conferencing platform, there are many issues that may impact end-user adoption:  

  • Video-capable meeting rooms are always booked
  • Budget constraints
  • Bandwidth constraints
  • Employees are either unaware that video exists, uncomfortable using video, or simply not interested in video
  • Video meeting rooms are restricted to certain meeting types

None of the problems listed above are new. Nor are their solutions. To encourage greater support for video, companies must reassess their processes and policies around remote work whilst also evaluating their current video conferencing solutions providers. 

Video Conferencing Transcends Industry and Business Size

Video conferencing tends to be equally important across every sector that can support hybrid work. As a likely result of the pandemic, whether a business is a small startup or a large corporation appears to have little bearing on whether or not they use a video conferencing tool. Cost appears to be the only real distinction, as 83% of organizations with more than 250 employees are likely to purchase video calling tools versus roughly 27% of small businesses.

Video Remains an Excellent Tool for Employee Engagement…

As people continue to struggle with feelings of isolation, video has emerged as a potential solution, helping people feel more connected to both colleagues and loved ones. In the workplace, video conferences help 87% of remote staff feel more connected to their team. Employee wellbeing is also a driving force in the adoption of video tools, allowing organizations to both empower their people and reach out to them in times of stress. 

It’s also worth noting that while multitasking in a meeting is to some extent inevitable, 82% of people are less likely to multitask on a video call. 34% of workers also think video calls are more enjoyable than audio calls, and 30% rate them higher than in-person meetings. 

…But Should Be Used Discerningly

It’s not all roses for video, as businesses that overuse the technology will find that it does more harm than good. Increased use of videoconferencing apps during the pandemic led to increased fatigue amongst workers. We coined a name for this phenomenon in 2020 — Zoom fatigue.

In 2022, 23% of American workers say they have a higher level of Zoom fatigue than ever. For 49% of people, being on camera makes them more exhausted. And the majority of employees — 82.9% — ultimately believe that not all meetings require video.

They’re right. Video meetings that take place too often or run too long both impede productivity and inhibit creativity. A study conducted by RedRex revealed several core reasons

  • Meetings that run too long (56% of respondents)
  • Staring at the screen for long periods of time (52% of respondents)
  • Meetings with no purpose (49% of respondents)
  • Constant eye contact (35% of respondents)

Your company inarguably needs a video conferencing platform in 2023. But you also need to understand that video is not the right medium for every conversation. You should never force a video chat when a phone call or text message will do — and ideally, you should choose a solution that supports all three of these communication formats.

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