“Do you want to hop on a Zoom call?”, “We’re having a Zoom happy hour!”, “Today’s meeting will be on Zoom” – phrases that have been interchangeably used within what has truly been an unprecedented year for working professionals all over the world.
As the spread of the novel coronavirus has pushed many to communicate virtually, Zoom – a communications company and now tech giant – experienced a massive surge in new users.
Looking for new, efficient, and proactive ways to host meetings, conduct business, or even just to chat, these users redefined the norms of virtual communication during the ongoing pandemic.
But, it was Pacific Workplaces, a long-time member of Preferred Office Network, who took business Zoom to the next level.
Dubbed as ‘Zoom rooms’, Pacific Workplaces – an innovative West Coast based workspace provider – created virtual meeting rooms for its clients to use.
These weren’t just your average Zoom meetings though.
Created to have highly collaborative video conferencing capabilities, Pacific’s Zoom rooms feature an enhanced virtual meeting experience.
“With the transition to virtual events, the majority of the world is switching to Zoom,” said Kim Seipel, Pacific Workplaces’ Marketing Manager.
“We needed an easy way for clients and their guests to join Zoom meetings without the hassle of creating their own meeting ID’s or worrying about a 40-minute limit,” she explained.
Rolled out at each of Pacific’s locations, Zoom Rooms feature flatscreen televisions, high definition web cameras, a fast, reliable wireless internet connection, wireless content sharing, and even built in microphones for utilization within conference calls and meetings.
“Zoom Rooms provide accessibility and ease of joining a meeting without worrying about internet connectivity or account limitations, all from a professional, sanitized meeting room,” added Kim.
“We really think this is a great way folks can have face-to-face interaction during this time of physical distancing. People will be looking for these sorts of tools as our remote workforce continues to expand,” she said.
As these Zoom Rooms have presented Pacific’s clients with an innovative tool that breeds workplace collaboration, Kim highlighted one instance where a client utilized the room for something beyond the norm.
“One of our long-time clients of over 25 years, retired from an international company,” Kim explained. “On her last day, her onsite teammates surprised her with a retirement party, via Zoom – including colleagues from Japan, China, and Singapore.”
“She was so surprised to have this special send-off, and it was great that we could make this happen through our Zoom Rooms technology,” Kim added.
While Pacific Workplaces added Zoom Rooms to its plethora of product offerings, like many coworking providers, they were also forced to adapt to many of the changes that were brought about by the spread of COVID-19.
“We changed our procedures with meeting room bookings and cleaning, with private office space, and use of the open coworking areas,” explained Karina Patel, Pacific’s Chief Marketing Officer.
“Using terminology such as contactless, clean, safe, sanitized, and private, these terms became important and highly sought out within many browser searches,” she added. “We are also focusing on how our services complement our clients who are working from home.”
“This can vary from providing printing services, receiving their mail and packages, providing on-demand access to clean meeting spaces, and/or utilizing other amenities within the spaces for collaboration. We’ve paced our bookings to accommodate for pre- and post-use cleaning.”
Just as Pacific has altered its product offerings to combat today’s new normal, so many other coworking providers have followed suit.
This gives way to the burning question of, “What does the future of the coworking industry look like?”
A pensive Karina said, “As distributed work continues, people will need an alternative to the challenges that come with remote work.”
“When people need a break from using the kitchen table as their office, flexible office spaces play a key role in being able to provide work-near-home solutions when people need relief from working from home,” she added.
“The massive work-from-home trend that came out of necessity of the implications of COVID-19 will stick with many people, but we still see a bright future for coworking.”