Recent changes in privacy policy have brought WhatsApp, the instant messaging platform, under a lot of criticism and controversy, causing mass exodus of its users to other messaging platforms. 

The messaging app updated its privacy policy allowing the company to access various information from the user’s mobile and to share the data with the broader Facebook network, such as Instagram and Messenger, regardless whether anyone has accounts or profiles there. It is wide known that there have already been several privacy concerns with the app, however, until now, sharing data with Facebook was only an option. Making it a mandate to accept the new policy has served as a tipping point for the increasingly aware users. 

Another major concern is the kind of data that WhatsApp will now collect -hardware data like time, frequency and duration of interactions, payments data, general location, signal strength, phone’s battery level, and other similar user information. This data when shared with Facebook can increase targeted marketing, invading the personal space of users. 

The fact that the policies are different across the world has caused greater backlash among the users. While WhatsApp users in India have no other option than accepting the new privacy policy, the data-sharing policies remain pretty much unchanged in Europe. Users in India, forming the majority of the WhatsApp community, have expressed severe concerns over this. Major business leaders have already put out messages publicly encouraging people to migrate to other platforms like Signal and Telegram. In fact, the not-for-profit Signal received so many new users that the app crashed last week. 

WhatsApp has tried to clarify that the private chats of individual users will remain unaffected by these new policy changes and announced again that WhatsApp does not store chat information and has no access to personal files of the users. This new policy will only apply to the users of the WhatsApp business version. However, the chats of individuals with business accounts are not an exception to the policy. 

Even with numerous announcements by the company, the mass sentiment among users remains the same. This reflects the mindset of the users not willing to compromise over their privacy preferences anymore. People were already concerned and this was a mass trigger that was long-pending.Business account holders who want to safeguard their user information are also hesitant as they do not want to share the information that their users have entrusted them with.

With people looking for options that are reliable not only in terms of accessibility but also provide safe and secure communication channels, there are numerous platforms providing means of communication not just for texting but a wide range of audio and video communication and many other integrated services as well. It is time to take the matter into our hands and choose what’s best for us. 

TeamMeet is a secure web conferencing and team collaboration platform, enabling you to work and learn remotely no matter where you are. TeamMeet has both SAAS and On-Premise offerings. The On-Premise offering lets you host your own server giving you admin control and complete ownership of your data. With TeamMeet, Your Data stays with You. 

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Last updated on September 28th, 2020 at 02:54 pm

A global survey conducted by Gartner, Inc. found that 88% of business organizations all over the world have adopted work-from-home policies since the start of the spread of COVID-19. Working from home is definitely helping us fight through this crisis, however, the real question  – Will Work-From-Home still be relevant in the long run even after the virus? Have we inadvertently come across an effective way of working in the future? 

BigTech firms have shared their long-term plans of going remote at least partially. Mark Zuckerberg said, “We are going to be the most forward-leaning company on remote work at our scale” while declaring that by 2030, at last half of Facebook’s 50,000 employees would be working from home. Companies are definitely exploring the option to give employees the flexibility to work on their own terms, where they feel they are most productive.

Work-From-Home has had its own advantages both for the business and the employees. To start with, this is the first time for many companies to collaborate virtually but majority of employees have been able to communicate and operate effectively without any effect on productivity. In fact, in a lot of cases, employee productivity has actually gone up.

Businesses and employees have also had significant financial benefits. Companies save on office space, travel and cost-of-living adjusted salaries for workers while employees tend to save on daily meals, transportation and other daily expenses. Lastly, the flexibility given to employees has definitely helped boost morale. Not spending all their waking hours in office and doing virtual meetings rather than spending days and weeks on road to travel, is helping employees be more satisfied and to work better, hopefully resulting in a higher retention rate. 

While this new norm seems to be very lucrative, there are some challenges that businesses certainly need to address. These are unreal times and what has worked now might not necessarily be the best long-term strategy.

There are considerable amount of people who would still want to regularly go to office due to distractions at home. Companies also need to ensure they have good collaboration tools to achieve good communication, while retaining the creativity and productivity of the employees in the long run. Working from home is especially difficult for people who are new to the company and have never physically met their team members or have never been accustomed to the culture and values of the company in-person. Thus, companies need to be very tactful while defining their new rules and norms. 

This being said, according to current predictions, remote work is here to stay and this is the new normal. However, the exact strategy around it entirely depends on the particular company, its vision of the future workforce system and its long-term goals. It is for the company to take this challenge as an opportunity and effectively implement strategies while developing and adapting quickly using the right collaboration tools to create an effective virtual workplace. With Technology being the core of the change and the increasing number of virtual workplace solutions, companies need to pick the right solutions that lets them collaborate, communication and operate just like before while moving forward.

TeamMeet is a secure web conferencing and team collaboration platform, enabling you to work and learn remotely no matter where you are. TeamMeet delivers all essential and high- end features for remote operation and communication, while guarding your data using universally trusted security and privacy protocols

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