Video conferencing replaces in-person meetings, with Zoom as the preferred platform
Workers are heeding recommendations to stay home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new analysis of meeting scheduling behavior by x.ai, the leading platform to schedule meetings. Virtual meetings have risen more than 20.09% since the beginning of March, while in-person meetings declined sharply beginning March 9, x.ai’s analysis found.
In the week between March 9 and March 16, 15.79% of all meetings moved online, as in-person meetings fell to just 8.55% of meetings being scheduled in the x.ai network. This coincides with the decision by several major tech firms, including Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon, to advise their employees to work remotely. The World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a pandemic on March 11th.
“Our data indicates workers truly began to take the ‘social distancing’ guidance seriously on March 9”Marcos Jimenez, x.ai’s Chief Data Scientist and founder
Virtual meetings now represent 91.45% of meetings being scheduled in the x.ai network, as of March 16th, up from 75.66% the week prior. Video conference meetings now make up 60.57% of all virtual meetings, while phone calls fell below for the first time to just 34.96%.
Zoom is being used in 69.13% of all video conference meetings scheduled using x.ai, with Google Hangouts Meet being used in 24.83% of meetings. Other video platforms, including WebEx and Microsoft Teams, make up the remaining 6.04%.
“We’re seeing in the data that meetings are still being scheduled at the same rate, if not slightly higher. With all the uncertainty and school closures, it’s clear that work is still being done,” said Dennis R. Mortensen, CEO and founder of x.ai.
At the start of 2020, x.ai saw around 30% of meetings being scheduled with physical locations such as conference rooms, office buildings, and coffee shops. These in-person meetings began to decline at the end of February to just above 20% and began to drop sharply on March 9th, a day before the CDC recommended workers use video conferencing for meetings when possible and to consider “adjusting or postponing large meetings or gatherings.”
x.ai analyzed a randomized sub-sample of 36,383 meetings scheduled with a location (virtual or physical) between January 17 and March 16, 2020. On average, 70 percent of x.ai meetings are scheduled in the United States, with remaining usage spread across the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and other countries.