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Video Conferencing Usage During the Coronavirus Outbreak

It goes without saying that these are unprecedented times. Regardless of location, people across the globe are confronting COVID-19 and adjusting their lives accordingly. We hope everyone is able to stay as safe as possible during this uncertain period.

As a global video conferencing provider in use in over 180 countries, BlueJeans has a unique vantage point to observe how quickly employees have shifted from working in offices to working from home, and from teaching in classrooms to distance learning. In the spirit of transparency, we wanted to share this data with the public and hope that it offers some insight and perspective into the massive behavioral shifts that organizations of all sizes around the world are driving through efforts to stem the spread of the virus and flatten the curve.

The BlueJeans data science team has aggregated and analyzed country-by-country meeting minutes before and after the coronavirus outbreak. By assessing meeting minutes from the past six weeks and comparing those to the pre-outbreak benchmark, we are able to see the daily acceleration of video conferencing utilization as the coronavirus has exploded across borders.

 

 

As the video above demonstrates, countries hit hard by the virus, not surprisingly show significant increases in BlueJeans utilization.*  But as you can see, this is a truly global event, with nearly every country seeing a spike in usage.  Additionally, we analyzed state-by-state utilization in the United States and were able to draw the same conclusion.  The chart below highlights BlueJeans utilization in Washington, California, and New York. 

States Graph

The data clearly presents a surge in utilization around March 3rd, when the virus began to drive organizations to ask their employees to begin working from home.  Beyond these three states, we are now seeing greater than 100% increases in 47 states overall.  While the future is uncertain, we expect nationwide utilization to continue to reflect the chart above in the coming weeks.

As more organizations adopt work-from-home policies, we have also observed some interesting behaviors compared to pre-outbreak benchmarks.  For example, utilization of the BlueJeans Virtual Whiteboard feature is up 284% week-over-week (from the week of March 2, 2020 to the week of March 9, 2020).  Workers are attempting to simulate their in-office conference room experience by using this feature to more easily facilitate remote collaboration.  Additionally, private in-meeting chat is up 116%, suggesting that teams miss the informal and ad-hoc chatter frequently found in the hallways of an office and are looking for new approaches to remaining in contact with colleagues during this period of isolation.  
 
At BlueJeans, our priority is to support our customers and communities during this difficult period with reliable, enterprise-grade video conferencing that helps people stay connected and productive. As work from home utilization has skyrocketed, we have made and will continue to make significant investments in our infrastructure to ensure business continuity.   We will continue to track utilization and share this data as a means of providing visibility into trends as soon as we spot them and hopefully serve as a bellwether for when the storm passes, and workers are able to freely head back into the office.  
 
*Note – Daily country-level growth rates are calculated as follows – percentage growth in daily minutes of video conferencing usage versus the 14-day average up to and including the breakout dates below: 
3 February 2020 – China
10 February 2020 – Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
19 February 2020 – Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey
23 February 2020 – Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland
28 February 2020 – other countries, except USA, Canada, Mexico
2 March – USA, Canada, Mexico