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How Do Video Conferencing Systems Support A Distributed Workforce?

Video conferencing systems solve the communication problems that are common to distributed workforces. It’s difficult to maintain productive communications with remote employees, as the important nonverbal cues, like body language and facial expressions are unable to be seen. Video conferencing brings these nonverbal cues back into the conversation, which keeps a distributed workforce unified and collaborating.

According to Upwork’s Future Workforce Report, 63 percent of companies are hiring remote employees and creating distributed workforces. There are many reasons for this, as well as pressure from employees to make it happen, so the future of work is one where people do their jobs while thousands of miles apart, and video conferencing is a vital part of the equation.

What other distributed workforce challenges can video conferencing systems solve?

As useful and productive as remote employees can be, there are challenges remote workers face. Video conferencing can solve most of those challenges. For example:

1. Remote employees may feel uninvolved or excluded – A Harvard Business Review study found that remote employees frequently deal with negative feelings associated with their coworkers. According to the study, remote employees were more likely to suspect coworkers of talking behind their backs or otherwise behaving hostile to them.

These feelings can be amplified by remaining physically apart, as it can reinforce that the remote employee is not a part of the team. Video conferencing solutions fix this by building a vital connection between remote and onsite employees. This connection, reinforced by those important nonverbal cues, ensure remote employees remain happy and motivated.

2. It’s difficult to collaborate effectively with a distributed workforce – Distributed workforces often struggle with keeping everyone engaged and passionate about particular initiatives. Much of that is due to poor communication between remote employees and other team members. It’s also difficult to collaborate when presenters can’t look around the room and see how their ideas are being received.

Video conferencing solves this problem by bringing people face-to-face. Modern video conferencing solutions don’t require meeting members to remain in one place in front of the screen. It’s simple for presenters to use whiteboards or other presentation materials during a video conference, so workers can collaborate visually with each other, no matter the distance.

3. Communication may become expensive or difficult to manage – There’s no substitute for a face-to-face conversation. Many companies, though, can only arrange face-to-face conversations by paying remote employees to travel. Before long, this approach will prove to be expensive and inefficient.

Video conferencing allows companies to slash their travel budgets, while also simplifying how colleagues communicate. Remote employees may have to manage several communication channels and apps to remain in contact with everyone. With a video conferencing solution, though, participants only have to hit a button and they’re in the meeting. It’s both simple and reliable, which are important considerations for an employee who may be out of easy reach of IT.

Video conferencing solutions are a perfect fit for a distributed workforce, especially as a company’s remote workforce scales up. Without video conferencing, it eventually becomes impractical to maintain effective communication with all remote employees. Imagine trying to keep dozens or hundreds of people on the same page without seeing a single employee. With only phone calls and e-mails, it’s seems like an impossible task.

Can video conferencing solutions be developed for any company?

Whether your remote workforce includes a single employee or a thousand, there’s a video conferencing solution that makes sense.

If your distributed workforce is small, your video conferencing solution may only consist of a soft codec, a basic webcam and a microphone. Onsite employees may stay at their workstations to join the meeting as well.

Many businesses, though, need more capable solutions that can connect an entire room of people to an entire network of remote employees. Huddle room, conference room and immersive telepresence solutions can accommodate anywhere from a few people to a few hundred, without loss of audio or visual quality.

At this point, consulting with an AV integrator is essential, as there are no effective, one-size-fits-all video conferencing solution. AV integrators know this, which is why they provide customized solutions designed to directly solve their client’s communication issues. Custom video conferencing solutions are scalable, reliable and dodge common issues like intercompatibility problems. An AV integrator can also provide critical training and post-installation maintenance, both of which will preserve the system for long term use. Training ensures workers will continue to use the system, while a maintenance agreement will protect against or prevent downtime.

Video conferencing solutions are perfect for employers that rely on a distributed workforce. The intimidating communication challenges that arise with remote employees can undermine any project, but with modern video conferencing technology, they can be solved. That gives employers all of the benefits of a distributed workforce, while maintaining morale and cohesion among remote employees.

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