The video conferencing market, as well as the range of tools available, has been steadily growing over the past few years.
As remote working is more widely adopted across all industries, and internet connections are universally highly capable, there is every reason to expand the use of technology throughout your business.
As technologists, we’re big fans of the advancements we’ve seen in video conferencing over the years. It’s something we intend to make much more use of going forwards and have drawn up what we believe are the top 8 reasons to embrace video conferencing.
- Carbon Footprint. Reducing global warming and doing your bit for the planet come in many different forms. One of those forms is assessing the necessity of driving a 4 hour round trip to a lacklustre meeting where you quickly realise your prospect isn’t yet at the right stage of engagement. Regardless of the personal demotivation and your transport mode of choice, you’re still unnecessarily increasing your carbon footprint either by fuel usage or the production intensity of another new electric vehicle.
- Efficiency Gains. Not losing time to travel can increase efficiency from several different angles. If one employee can successfully carry out say five appointments in a day via video, compared to the two they were doing while having to travel, this is a far better use of their time. This efficiency could also take the form of a sales person adopting project or account management duties, thus upskilling the workforce more diversely to cope in times of crisis, or simply for personal development. From the perspective of the person who no longer has to travel, if they are commission based, this opens up their personal earning capacity.
- Cost reduction. Video conferencing can reduce company transportation, food and accommodation expenses. It may also have been customary to supply catering to guests who came into the office, with fewer personal meetings, this is a further cost saving. Additionally, if you’re seeing increased efficiency in the team this may lead to growth in revenue, without the need to increase headcount.
- Wider Involvement. Typically, initial meetings are sparse, with key staff members held back until firm interest from both parties is assumed. With video conferencing, if a discussion is going well, there is no reason not to make efforts to conference in senior team members or management. This can speed up the decision making process and reduce barriers to engagement.
- Employee Retention. There’s rightly so an ongoing discussion around work/life balance. Video conferencing as an alternative to face to face meetings redresses some of that balance when those meetings would naturally be distributed across a vast area. Early starts, late finishes, petrol station lunches and sheer exhaustion all contribute to a poor work environment and can take a mental and/or physical toll, leading to resignations.
- Safety. Although the UK has some of the safest roads in Europe, every unnecessary journey still presents itself as a risk that needn’t have been taken. Video conferencing more often can hopefully reduce the burden of traffic on our roads and make them even safer still.
- Productivity. By using video conferencing to hold quick team chats, you don’t have to wait for that one hour in the next two weeks that everyone is standing side by side in the office to make decisions and share opinions. This can make teams and departments much more productive. Equally, when hosting online demonstrations, the presenters can rapidly refine their approach through repetition, giving them more confidence and competence, without the unknown of hiccups and incompatibility when presenting off-site.
- Physical Cues. Video conferencing is not only an alternative to face to face meetings, but also audio-only communications. By conversing via video, all parties can benefit from seeing mannerisms and expressions. Personality can get across better and body language give subtle cues. This can help form a much stronger bond across a distance and improve and enhance relationships.
While we don’t believe that video conferencing should replace all face to face communication in business, it certainly raises the question of ‘do I really need to make that journey?’. If more often than not the answer is no, perhaps consider formally adopting a ‘video-first’ policy. It could even make up part of your brand ethos if you take a strong stance on any or many of the points raised above. Or, you could simply use it as a complement to your existing communications approach. Sometimes it is incredibly important to hop in the car or on a train, sometimes it makes no odds, and sometimes a simple phone call will suffice.
Download our quick reference poster on Video Conferencing to share amongst your colleagues.
If you have any questions about the many different types of video conferencing software available, we’d be happy to help you figure out what’s right for your specific use case, contact us today.