As a communication tool video conferencing has been in common use for only the past few decades, although the initial idea dates back to the 1870s. Designed to increase collaboration of separated work teams, the technology can be said to have supported and enhanced the work from anywhere trend.
The current usefulness and importance of the technology is apparent today and in a recent survey, 90% of North American companies said they are most likely to invest more in video conferencing in 2022 than in past years.
The benefits to business are significant – let’s take a look at some of them here.
The obvious statement here is how travel costs are reduced when video conferencing is incorporated into a company’s operations. The technology solution can keep home and satellite offices connected, and is a perfect format for companies with distanced employees that do a lot of training. It also plays an important role in managing and enhancing client and vendor relations.
This type of cost savings also extends to employee satisfaction. Professional development is easier to access, especially as more conferences and leadership sessions can now be experienced virtually. Without needing to travel as much, the staff is happier and healthier, which increases productivity and performance. This also goes a long way toward keeping talent and helping them thrive.
Here’s a win for the planet! Video conferencing allows for meetings without the negative impact on the environment so many of these functions bring. Here we are talking about energy consumption, emissions, and waste, be it from excess office supplies or an overabundance of food that is purchased and not consumed, which are common fall-out to in-person meetings. Video conferencing is an easy way to contribute to the sustainability goals of a company.
Video conferencing facilitates faster knowledge and information sharing, and since people can be seen, misinterpretations that can occur from emails or audio calls are diminished. In general, teams that can see and interact with one another stay in better sync and have a shared commitment, therefore moving faster on decisions and projects.
Great collaboration features such as screen sharing, whiteboards, meeting recording, and live captioning are now available as well as the ability to integrate apps and workflow management tools. Video conferencing is no longer just a tool to see a person or team during a conversation.
Hybrid work has expanded the talent resources for many companies as remote work is more widely accepted. This allows for the potential of a more diverse staff and research has shown that a diverse staff equals more successful outcomes for business. With differing viewpoints and insights being offered, teams are better equipped to consider a variety of options and solutions, and work hard in order to make decisions together.
If video conferencing software includes auto-generated closed captions team members who are deaf or hard of hearing can be more engaged.
It may seem that putting everyone in a Zoom or Teams meeting can solve the issue. But using technology that isn’t completely immersive creates a gap, making it difficult for in-person and remote individuals to communicate. Audio drops, slow wifi connections, inability to see everyone – this not only limits and inhibits the necessary communication but also puts stress on the individuals involved. And we know that providing a positive, productive work environment is super critical to maintaining and attracting talent. For all these reasons a robust and reliable system is a necessary tool in a company’s arsenal.
There are many platforms and hardware solutions that can provide the video conferencing capability necessary for a company. Just a few of the things to consider include the technology already in place – are we able to utilize what we already have? What software will work with hardware (not all programs are compatible)? What features do we need – visual and audio tracking? Whiteboards? What about security?
If you are interested in exploring these and other benefits of video conferencing contact our friendly team of experts.