It’s been over 2 years since the start of the great WFH experiment created by the Covid-19 pandemic. And it’s been over 20 months since I released the Shared Slides Clicker browser extension to make presenting remotely using Google Slides and Meet more bearable. Read more about that here.
More recently, we’ve seen many businesses shift to encouraging more return to office (RTO) for their employees. Whether this is good or bad is not the topic of this post (go to HN if you want to read about that). I was curious whether RTO would reduce the usage of the Shared Slides Clicker. Turns out it’s had a huge impact! Check out the usage over time below:
Usage (aka clicks) had a dramatic spike from September 2021 to January 2022. For most of us, that time corresponds to when people to be more concerned about transmission because the Delta variant was sweeping the country, the weather was getting colder, and the Omicron variant was right around the corner. New registered users also grew much faster during this time.
However, since February there’s been a big dropoff in usage of the Shared Slides Clicker. This matches reports that WFH has dramatically decreased from its pinnacle. As more people return to the office and resume having meetings in person, the need for the Shared Slides Clicker has gone down drastically.
To me this looks like pretty clear anecdotal evidence that knowledge workers are headed back to the office in greater numbers. But usage hasn’t gone to zero, so a sizable number of people are still also working remotely.
Hybrid work, it seems, is here to stay.
Pro Tip: Before you go uninstalling the Shared Slides Clicker while high-fiving your in-office coworkers, you should know that the Shared Slides Clicker can be useful even when you’re in the office. Even when you are not presenting remotely, the Shared Slides Clicker can still improve your experience of using Google Meet with Google Slides. Here’s how: you can use the Shared Slides Clicker on just your own machine by yourself. It lets you control your own Slides from your own Meet window. This may sound silly, but controlling your slides from inside Meet lets you stay focused on your Meet video and participants, so you can see participants’ faces, view the chat and see who has raised their hands, etc. So give the Shared Slides Clicker a shot, even if you’re presenting from the office.