Tech@Work: “Today’s Workplace is no Longer What it Used to be”

Sam Tayan, the Managing Director in the Middle East and Africa at Zoom, speaks about how the workplace has evolved in the past few years

Which products and solutions do you offer for today’s workplace?
Our portfolio is no longer limited to a linear virtual meeting platform and is now inclusive of additional product offerings and features designed to address the needs of today’s workplace. We now offer Zoom Rooms, a software-based room system that provides an integrated experience for audio conferencing, wireless screen sharing, and video conferencing. We have also recently announced Zoom Phone Appliances, a complementing product to our Zoom Phone cloud-calling solution. Zoom Phone Appliances, a new category of hardware optimized for the hybrid workforce, from home offices to shared huddle spaces, addresses use cases across industries.

Today’s workplace is no longer what it used to be. As health concerns have affected the way professionals work and meet, the impact is long-term. Businesses and their employees alike have experienced the benefits of virtual work environments and their viability. Here at Zoom, we listen to our consumers and recognize the need for different solutions and products that will enhance and support the remote and hybrid workplace.

How do you think technology today helps businesses grow?
Technology today is the unequivocal enabler when it comes to solving modern-day challenges to help businesses grow. It has expedited and automated work, allowing human resources to focus on more decision-critical issues, saving time and effort as well as ensuring continuity. In the modern digital world, a company failing to embrace digitalization risks lagging behind its competitors as virtual solutions streamline operations and consumers continue to move towards the online world to address their needs.

For example, Zoom has allowed business continuity during worldwide lockdowns over the past year and a half by offering effective virtual communication. While this was out of necessity due to the global work landscape, Zoom contributed to a work environment that empowers employees to work remotely and flexibly while increasing their efficiency.

How is tech driving our economic recovery?
Technology has emerged as our savior globally. The pandemic has not only accelerated the inevitable digital transformation as companies have shifted their technology strategies from being a necessity to being an advantage. This has resulted in better working conditions for individuals and more efficient processes with lower costs for businesses, therefore propelling the world into an age of economic prosperity during challenging times. The widespread use of technology has eliminated any barriers related to physical distance, both in terms of human resources and operational success. Businesses have woken up to their ability to increase profits and avoid potential losses which may result from unexpected events by investing in and adopting the right technologies and tools.

Retailers have shifted to e-commerce solutions, whilst the entertainment industry is consumed primarily virtually, telehealth solutions remain on the rise, and, most importantly, communication has been streamlined through video conferencing and virtual communication platforms.

Businesses, education, and health entities among others have witnessed enormous economic benefits resulting from the use of these platforms, as they’re able to reach more consumers, students and patients from a distance while also internally reducing costs. From transportation fees to office space rent, remote working and the ease of communication thanks to tech solutions such as ours have significantly contributed to keeping companies financially afloat and will now be providing a path to economic prosperity.

How, according to you, are women powering the tech industry?
The skills shortage within the tech industry is indicative of a more significant issue at hand, and that is the gender gap within the field. As women are still outnumbered in the technology industry, it is important to address this issue in inclusion. We believe that the encouragement of gender diversity and more women in STEM subjects and in leadership positions is the secret to the success of the tech industry as this will provide a larger variety of perspectives and outlooks on topics that had been seen through tunnel vision.

This is important specifically within the technology industry, driving the next step of the region’s evolution. After all, some of the most prominent technological advancements were spearheaded by women, such as the invention of Wi-Fi, the first home computer, and others. At Zoom, we believe that empowering women and supporting them within the tech industry will help achieve greater heights in societal equality and products and solutions that are inclusive of the needs of various demographics. Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) team works hard to achieve Zoom’s goals of inclusive hiring, pay equity, and diverse work culture.

How is your company investing in the workforce of tomorrow?
At Zoom, we create solutions that empower employees to take charge of where, when, and how they work to encourage organizations to adopt a hybrid model that evaluates employees purely on the results rather than the time spent doing it.

By providing a flexible and tailored workspace, we aim to give control to the modern workforce through technologies such as video communications and virtual receptionists, alongside other tools that allow ease of operation for employees who work remotely. We at Zoom look to give the workforce the needed means to prevail in the new era of work.

How is your company working towards a sustainable future?
Zoom is committed to creating a more connected and sustainable world, with care being the company’s core value. We believe in putting our company, teammates, customers, and communities first, as every action a company makes impacts the world, and we at Zoom aim to make our impact as positive as possible.

Zoom Cares, our philanthropic entity, aims to create a future where both communities and people are cared about and for. The initiatives under this entity focus on three core areas: education, social equity, and climate change. These three causes are what we choose to focus on to achieve a lasting difference in our mentality and the world around us.

How do you think tech will shape the 2021 landscape?
The evolution of technology has highly impacted the 2021 landscape in the workplace and will continue to do so. With the increase in demand for flexibility, hybrid work is both a trend and a shaper to the modern workplace, meaning that technology will be increasingly more incorporated into companies’ day-to-day operations. Technology will not only shape the 2021 landscape; it is directly affecting the way individuals do work and how they are handling their day-to-day now and forever.

While we are still far from the normalization of flying cars and hoverboards, technology has already made advancements and benefitted the wider public significantly. As international travel resumes and remote workforces are further encouraged, video communication has followed well into 2021 and will continue to be relevant. According to our report “How Virtual Do We Want Our Future to Be?”, respondents have expressed interest in the continuation of virtual communication in the fields of healthcare, work and education as well as during celebrations and for personal usage. This proves that technology’s impact on the way we operate has only just begun.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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