Zoom and Other Work-From-Home Apps May Be in Trouble as the World Reopens

Woman in front of a device screen in video conference for work.
LeoPatrizi / Getty Images

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, work teams and educators scrambled to connectivity apps like Skype, Slack and Zoom to stay connected and maintain productivity while apart. However, once office spaces reopen, Bloomberg reports those same apps could see a significant usage drop in Americans’ everyday lives.

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Microsoft Teams, Zoom Could be Left by the Wayside for In-Person Productivity

The data reported by Bloomberg comes from digital app research company Apptopia, which monitors downloads and app performance. Its analysis suggests that “Zoom fatigue” is very real, with usage of the conferencing tool reaching its apex in September 2020. Microsoft Teams, another collaboration tool for remote teams, has seen a decrease in mobile usage.

Some stalwarts from the pandemic may be here to stay, as Apptopia says their digital adoption has not declined during the past 12 months. For example: DocuSign, a digital platform which allows groups to send paperwork for digital signatures, remains a stalwart of business.

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Social networking continues to maintain a strong presence, as people continue to use digital tools to maintain connections. Facebook and its products Instagram and WhatsApp expanded their U.S. base by nearly 40 million users in the 13-month period ending February 2021. In addition, social creativity apps like YouTube and Pinterest are continuing to grow, as digital-first consumers use each of the platforms as a research tool.

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Two areas that have yet to determine their future potential are food delivery and home shopping apps. Even as COVID-19 cases are dropping across the United States, usage of apps like DoorDash, Instacart and Amazon Fresh are still going strong. Meanwhile, usage of apps from home goods retailers like Wayfair is on the decline, perhaps due to reduced demand for home office furnishings and home upgrades coupled with a lack of disposable income, Bloomberg reported.

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Even As Offices Open, Workers Must Still Find Connection With Work-From-Home Counterparts

Although the usage of digital productivity apps is falling, it doesn’t mean the apps will be completely abandoned. Upwork’s “Future of Workforce Pulse Report” released in December 2020 suggests that nearly one-fourth of workers will remain at home in 2021, meaning they will still rely on digital tools to connect with teams. Additional research suggests 32% of at-home workers are more engaged with their work, compared to 28% of those in the office.

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