We live in a mobile, social, global world and it shows in the way business gets done. Workers are increasingly on the go and embracing the flexibility of mobile communications to balance the demands of the office in the most efficient and productive way possible. Companies that provide the best collaboration capabilities, suitable for conducting business with anyone, anywhere, will stand out among the others and gain a competitive advantage.
Video conferencing is evolving rapidly—how it’s used, where it’s used, by whom and for what—and its use as an enterprise productivity tool is also growing rapidly. If you had any doubts, consider that the majority desktop and mobile devices have at least one camera, if not two. Similarly, the popularity of powerful, inexpensive tablets and smartphones, along with apps such as FaceTime, Skype, and Google Talk have not only made consumer-grade video chat available to the masses—it’s also jump-starting demand for high-quality enterprise video in the workplace. Polycom asked 4,737 professionals from all over the world about how, where, and why they use video collaboration to get work done. They found that 64% use video collaboration daily or weekly and that home usage of video collaboration is expected to top almost triple over the next year. This has changed the way we collaborate and the way we co-work.
You can use video collaboration to improve communications, relationships, and productivity by helping people meet face-to-face over distances. Face-to-face interaction fosters credibility, a sense of connectedness, and plays an important role in building relationships.
Remote and flexible work arrangements: Remote working is a concept that’s growing in popularity. Employees love it and employers are growing more comfortable with remote working all the time, realizing that the benefits include enhanced productivity and a happier workforce, to name just a few. As this work arrangement becomes increasingly more popular, the need for better tools for collaboration is increasing, too. Video collaboration is being embraced as a platform that improves collaboration inside as well as outside of the organization.
Better interaction among the workforce: Employees today are more connected than ever, but whether that connect would count as a human connection can be argued. When employees communicate solely by email and telephone and whose only mental picture of each other comes from LinkedIn… you can see how this can lead to lack of interaction among co-workers. According to Forrester Research, video’s usefulness arises out of its ability to “replicate face-to-face interactions and communications— conversing in real time and seeing each other’s reactions no matter where they are located … helps to put a face and mannerisms to a name and voice, enabling remote and distributed teams to feel more connected and more committed to shared goals.” Cloud-based video collaboration helps foster teamwork, boost morale and team spirit, and encourages teams to remain connected and productive—a win for everyone!
80 percent of communication is based in visual cues: Video conferencing allows for the highest quality interactions available next to in-person meetings. Therefore, as employees become more spread out, there is an increased possibility of misunderstanding or slowed exchanging of information. Employees capable of participating in meetings over video have a better read on coworker expressions, and are far more engaged. This allows them to make more accurate decisions than with any other mode of remote communication.
Eliminating geographic limitations: Video enables modern day remote and/or mobile workers to collaborate from anywhere and from any device. Thanks to video collaboration, geographic limitations can no longer impede a company’s growth. By enabling face-to-face interviews from multiple locations, video collaboration may also help in the process of recruitment, and help to streamline human resources processes. This gives companies the leverage to tap into the talented workforce and potential candidates from all over the world.
More productive meetings: Inherently, we are visual creatures. No matter how fabulous that screen share presentation is, as soon as I turn on a TV in the corner of a full meeting room, everyone’s eyes will be irresistibly drawn to the live screen. Enabling your scattered workforce to come together at a single point, you can improve productivity while it can also lead to better team-building within your workforce.
Reduced costs: As an organization, travel costs are inevitable. However, traveling contributes to a fair share of expenses which can be significantly lowered by deploying video collaboration platforms. By leveraging technology and using video collaboration more effectively in certain situations, you can significantly reduce your travel budget. In addition, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is a boon for the growth of business video, and one of the real beauties of cloud technology. No longer is it about connecting only to those who have pre-approved software installed on a corporate desktop or tablet. Your access is in the cloud, so anyone, anywhere can connect using video conferencing.
So what are you waiting for? Today’s businesses recognize video collaboration as a key factor in staying ahead of the curve by outsmarting their competitors. As video collaboration systems become easier to use, more economical to purchase, and more a part of our overall business culture, everyone will see the payoff—from more personal connections with clients and faster and better internal communications to hefty cost savings from evolving past the old way of doing things.