With millions of Americans now working from home due to the coronavirus global pandemic, hosting Zoom conference calls, virtual movie nights, and more has become the norm in a time that is anything but normal.
If you’re unfamiliar, Zoom is a video conferencing software that has both free and premium plans. The software has become a popular choice for many companies – even government bodies – having to now run their business off a completely remote model, due to “stay-at-home” orders implemented throughout the United States.
Here at Martin Waymire, we have been using Zoom to keep in touch as a team, with weekly Zoom staff meetings (yes, even Roger uses it!), almost daily “Yappy Hours,” and client meetings. The ability to talk “face-to-face” has been extremely helpful, as we know that much of what we communicate is through our facial expressions and body language.
One trend that has appeared as quickly as toilet paper shortages is using Zoom’s virtual background option to liven up your meetings. Virtual backgrounds act as a green screen to display yourself on a warm beach or scenic forest, in the middle of your favorite TV show or meme, or truly any photo you would like as your background. Zoom has provided a simple training video on how to use virtual backgrounds to spruce up your next Zoom meeting.
Having trouble finding that perfect virtual Zoom background? One of Martin Waymire’s own account executives, Dave Solce, is a talented photographer and has chosen eight photos taken from across the United States to share, free to download.
Many Zoom users have found creative ways to connect with each other during quarantine. From virtual happy hours to using the tool to promote the 2020 census as seen on our client, the Michigan Municipal League’s, website, Michiganders and Americans alike have quickly adapted to working from home.
With Zoom’s usage increasing 20-fold in March, instances of “Zoombombing”, an instance where unwanted guests join random Zoom meetings primarily to harass and disrupt meeting members, began to appear. Zoom has recently taken steps to address the software’s security concerns that include the ability to allow meeting organizers to increase password length requirements and cloud recordings being password protected by default.
While every Michigander is managing quarantine, social distancing and rapid Michigan weather changes in their own way, there is no doubt that the near-global work from home environment will certainly prompt further discussion of the nature and design of the modern office. Only time will tell what new trends, ideas and workflows will emerge from a world forced to adapt to a global shutdown.