- Zoom is working on a hot-desking solution to allow workers to book desks and other office spaces, the company announced at its yearly conference Monday.
- Set to debut later this year, the tool lets users access an interactive map of their office, picking seats or arrangements recommended by Zoom’s AI platform, said Cynthia Lee, lead product manager, during the event.
- The hot-desking solution customizes workstations according to user preferences, and wipes devices clean of user data after each use. The solution will be available on Zoom Rooms and Zoom Phone devices in beta later this year.
The squabble in the software vendor market continues, with providers aiming to accommodate the hybrid workforce. The goal is to convince users to choose their products as the center of the work universe.
Zoom's upgrade responds, partly, to workplace preference. Seven in 10 workers whose employers offer flexible work policies say they intend to adopt a hybrid model, according to data from Mercer. The move is also trying to grab executive attention, as PwC found nearly half of tech leaders plan to enable tech solutions to enable effective hybrid work.
Workers start their days with email or collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams or Slack, but now Zoom is attempting to push its technology to the forefront of the daily experience, according to Carrie Marshall, CEO of Talk Social to Me.
"By combining the digital and physical components of work with this new hot desking capability, Zoom is hoping to become the default starting point and hub for the workday regardless of where someone sits on any given day," said Marshall in an email.
Employees are getting tired of video conferencing tools, following 18 months of continual use. It's one of the headwinds providers will contend with as they roll out new solutions.
But "if integrated apps and the new experience aren't useful or sticky enough, this new solution might simply be used as video-enabled Zoom rooms, which isn't anything new," said Marshall. "The workforce is already fatigued with too many digital tools, so Zoom's experience needs to be compelling enough to change entrenched habits."
Hot desking isn't Zoom's first move addressing a hybrid work world. Earlier this year, Zoom rolled out several updates to its products, such as touchless capabilities in its Zoom Rooms offering, aimed at accommodating workers in-person and remotely.