Zoom and Microsoft Teams were the big software winners in pandemic

photo of zoom call on macbook
(Image credit: Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash)

Zoom and Microsoft Teams were the most popular collaboration tools used during the 2020-21 lockdown, a survey undertaken by TechRadar Pro and SmartBrief has found.

In a survey of over 1,200 US-based professionals, 75% of respondents said they had used Teams, with more than 80% saying they had video-called with Zoom

Other apps that saw heavy usage included video conferencing tool Cisco Webex (39%), cloud storage from Dropbox (30%), and the soon-to-be-discontinued Skype, which 30% of respondents used to talk to colleagues, partners, and customers.

Google under-performs?

However, Google’s cloud and collaboration tools didn’t fare quite so well, with 28% of respondents saying they had shared or stored files with Google Drive, 22% using Google Meet, and only 11% messaging with Chat. 

Microsoft Teams messaging features also appear to have beaten other popular instant messaging tools, with only 12% or respondents reporting that they used Slack.

Top 10 most-used software applications during lockdown

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ApplicationCategoryPercentage using
ZoomVideo conferencing80.30%
Microsoft TeamsMulti-function collaboration75.30%
Cisco WebexVideo conferencing38.70%
DropboxCloud storage30.40%
SkypeVideo conferencing29.80%
Google DriveCloud storage28.40%
Google MeetVideo conferencing21.50%
SlackInstant messaging, video conferencing11.70%
Google ChatInstant messaging11.10%
TeamViewerRemote desktop8.20%

Source: Future / SmartBrief

 Video-conferencing fatigue 

About SmartBrief

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Interestingly, 42% of respondents reported suffering from video conferencing drain (or as it is more commonly referred to, ‘Zoom fatigue’), which is often brought on by technical issues, performance pressure, and ‘gaze awareness’, where a lack of eye contact – as a result of the position of the webcam in relation to the screen – can result in feeling like you’re not being listened to and cause frustration with colleagues.

In terms of behavior, 90% of respondents said they had worked from home during the pandemic, with 80% reporting that they are still working from home, with a return to the office - in some form - imminent. 

However, many were keen to work from home on a regular basis, with two-thirds (66%) saying they would like to work remotely at least two days a week.

Q. If you had a choice, how many days a week would you prefer to go into the office?

survey graphic lockdown

Results: Work remotely full time (28.6%); 1 day per week (14.2%); 2 days (19.7%); 3 days (18.1%); 4 days (6.5%); 5 days (14.8%) (Image credit: Future / SmartBrief)

As we come out of lockdown, it’s clear that these tools, and the collaboration they afford, will likely become ever-more common in our working lives and issues, such as Zoom fatigue, will need to be solved to get the most out of them.

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Read more about the results of this survey:

Nick Jones

Nick Jones is a Content Director with over 20 years of experience writing about consumer and B2B technology and software, in both a content and marketing capacity. He has worked with myriad publications in that time and with many leading financial, technology, medical, and entertainment providers, including Cisco, Pfizer, and Virgin Media.