Video conferencing is a vital tool for the modern company, allowing professional teams to work face-to-face, no matter the distance. When modern video conferencing solutions were introduced a few decades ago, they were hamstrung by network and budget limitations. Technology moves fast, though, and today's solutions provide a superior combination of video quality, usability, and collaboration features. Every day, there's more than 10 million video conference calls across the U.S., so the professional world is running on video collaboration. And as more and more companies embrace the technology, bringing in video conferencing is critical for maintaining a competitive advantage.
Businesses Now View Video Conferencing as a Core Piece of TechnologyThe rise of video conferencing has coincided with the rise of remote work, and businesses rely on remote work more than ever now. According to McKinsey's American Opportunity Survey, 58 percent of Americans have the freedom to work from home at least one day a week. Nearly 35 percent are allowed to work from home five days a week. The ability to work remotely is a point of emphasis for workers, too. McKinsey's report also found that 87 percent of people would take remote work options if given to them. Work flexibility is a powerful recruiting tool, and a video conferencing solution is what makes that flexibility possible.
Four Benefits of Video Conferencing Systems for BusinessVideo conferencing has changed the way companies manage just about everything. Personnel, projects, customer service, meetings - video conferencing software and systems can improve your organization's effectiveness at every level. Specifically, here are four benefits the technology brings to companies.
Better Communication and Collaboration EfficiencyFor remote and hybrid teams, video conferencing offers an efficient way to collaborate on projects. User surveys show that professionals believe they get their ideas across better and faster with video conferencing. Video conferencing tends to eliminate distractions, too, as meeting participants are less likely to focus on something else (like a smartphone) when others can see them. This adds up to more efficient, more effective communication. And that adds up to more effective project management.
Reduced Operating Costs and OverheadOne of the benefits that video conferencing traded on early was its ability to reduce costs. That's still the case, as the technology can greatly reduce the need for travel, which is increasing rapidly as businesses come out of the 2020 pandemic. A typical three-day domestic business trip will run companies more than $1,000 per employee, and depending on the destination city and other expenses, that cost could easily be doubled. Video conferencing makes many of those trips unnecessary. Video conferencing can also reduce overhead - specifically space-related overhead like rent. Remote employees cost businesses nothing in terms of real estate, so if your organization is transitioning to video meetings, less office space is needed. As of 2022, the cost of renting office space in Houston is around $30 per square foot, per year. Sticking to a hybrid or remote work arrangement can bring your overhead down by thousands every year. In this way, a video conferencing solution can pay for itself.
Improved Team Dynamics, Especially for Remote WorkersOne of the biggest challenges facing remote workers is their connection to the rest of their team. It depends on the survey you look at, but about half of remote workers report difficulties in feeling like part of the team. Video conferencing systems can bridge this gap, ensuring remote workers can connect in meaningful ways with their team members. Regular video calls and conferences allow for convenient connecting with others, and some solutions also support chat and other communication tools. Nothing beats face-to-face conversation when it comes to developing positive team dynamics, and video conferencing makes it easy to pull off.
Access to a Greater Pool of Professional TalentThe entire globe is open to recruiters who are willing to seek out remote talent. With video conferencing, that talent is far easier to access and integrate into your team. Beyond that, the ability to work remotely is a significant perk that businesses can offer to outcompete on talent. Younger employees (25-34) are the most likely group to take remote work opportunities if offered, but they aren't the only ones. More than half of workers aged 35-54 are also interested in remote work. With video conferencing, your company can appeal to workers of all experience levels and of all backgrounds.
A Few Video Conferencing Value-Adds Worth ConsideringVideo conferencing offers several compelling benefits, but it can be made better still with additional technologies. A few examples include:
- Large digital displays - Video conferencing relies on a quality output medium - the display - to deliver a crystal-clear picture to the meeting's attendees. AV integrators have a variety of displays to choose from, and your organization may prefer oversized displays or multiple displays for your solution. Multiple displays, for example, can be used to run the video call on one display, while the other is reserved for content sharing.
- Interactive displays - Interactive displays provide a tactile dimension to your meetings and can make presentations far more engaging for people. The Clevertouch is a leading example of interactive display technology, allowing presenters to keep an eye on the audience while using their hands or a pen to move through a slideshow, concept drawings, spreadsheets, or any other content.
Interactive displays can also run whiteboarding and annotation software, which can be a powerful collaboration driver. During a whiteboarding session, users can bring in content from the web and scribble notes one at a time, or all together.
- Advanced room controls - Part of the video conferencing experience is ensuring the lighting and audio levels are properly configured. AV room controls make this easy to manage, ensuring that every call looks and sounds exactly like it should. Room controls can be programmed into wall switches and other physical controls, but most rooms now feature touchscreen controls that users can easily decipher. With one press, users can set optimal lighting and volume levels, start a video call and interface with any room scheduling software to ensure the room is reserved during the meeting.