30 second summary:
- In COVID-19, households introduced new technologies
- Zoom increased users by 2,000% in 2020
- VPNs, games, and streaming have seen significant growth
- Netflix had an additional 12 million users in the UK in 2020.
For many, especially in the colder months, there wasn’t much else to do other than resort to technology – be it video games or streaming the latest TV shows online! Tech has been a major player in facilitating both leisure activities and work productivity during the lockdown, and has enabled companies to further bring their employees together in one way or another.
Specifically, this article describes some of the technology areas where demand has risen sharply over the past year.
Content created in collaboration with Tudor Lodge Consultant.
During the initial lockdown, Zoom users grew by 2000%. For most of them, they hadn’t even heard of the video conferencing software, it was used exclusively by companies communicating with partners or customers overseas, and it certainly wasn’t associated with quiz and escape rooms.
Video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Whereby, and Google Meet have been a great way to bring workplaces and communities together, albeit in a technological form.
It has enabled businesses to facilitate meetings online and bring families and friends together socially when they couldn’t physically meet. Zoom quizzes are certainly something that didn’t exist until 2019, but most people like to say goodbye as we near the unblocking!
Tech PR agency Eskenzi also highlighted other platforms that gained huge pull in the lockdown, including Slack, TikTok, Facebook and, more recently, the corporate social network Clubhouse.
Streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney + eventually saw a surge in demand. Ofcom’s annual 2020 study found that people sent 40% of their waking hours to a screen, with people watching streaming services for over an hour each day.
Over 12 million people in the UK have joined a streaming service they hadn’t used before the lockdown. This study suggests that streaming services is an area of technology that has grown significantly during the lockdown.
Popular Netflix series were being discussed on all social media and people wanted something to fill in the free time they would normally have spent connecting with friends and family.
Virtual private networks are extremely important to the company’s online security, especially when it comes to data and privacy. VPNs prevent private information from falling into the wrong hands as only those within the VPN can access the server.
With the UK government advising workers across the UK to work from home whenever possible, the majority of office workers have set up shop within their own four walls during the working week. For many companies, this means that their employees’ WiFi is no longer in the private network of the building.
The best VPNs offer an encrypted passageway through which data and information can be transmitted. It also allows files to be sent and received privately, so only those on the company’s VPN have access.
Online gaming increased by 1.5 hours from 2019 until it was locked in 2020. An Ipsos MORI report conducted in late 2020 found that 14% of gamers said they discovered new video games and 30% said gaming had helped them feel less isolated.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought the UK to a complete standstill. A national lockdown that personally closed all areas of retail, education, and hospitality. This meant that people were spending more time at home than ever before, and going back to games for their recreational needs.
However, gambling gradually declined when lockdown restrictions were lifted in the summer of 2020, suggesting that people wanted to spend more time in person and outdoors than sitting in front of a screen.
Daniel Tannenbaum is the founder of Tudor Lodge Consultants and works with Groupon, Savills Property. He also works as an advisor to Lord Alan Sugar.