Although the technology behind video calls has been around for decades, only in the last 10-15 years has it cemented itself as a critical element of business communications. Many companies that take advantage of it now, though, rely on it heavily, from everything to project management to interfacing with other top executives. The rise of modern teleconferencing has given professional teams a level of freedom they have never experienced before, and opened up a new way of collaborating.
Video calls, 50 years in the making
It all started with the Picturephone, released in 1964 by Bell Labs (now known as AT&T). It was such an interesting novelty that it was debuted at the New York World’s Fair, and received a lot of attention when it was shown to waiting crowds. During the fair, the Picturephone was considered a modern marvel in that it allowed the user to see the person on the other end while speaking. For a short time, it drew a lot of praise for its quality and experience, but never took off due to its expense.
It would be a while before the technology was feasible for business use, and it didn’t really take hold until the 2000s, when high definition signals were adapted for teleconferencing use. High definition greatly improved visual fidelity, making face to face teleconferencing much like a face to face conversation in person.
The power of video calls
Teleconferencing does things that traditional communications cannot. While some executives may hold firm on the idea of meeting people in person, there are plenty of reasons why such thinking is growing in rarity. Consider the impressive benefits that a modern teleconferencing system can offer a business:
- Eliminates the need to travel for meetings. If there’s one thing businesses prioritize, it’s reducing unnecessary costs. Teleconference meetings can be organized and executed in a matter of minutes, and used to connect with clients, partners and other team members. Instead of flying everyone into a regional meeting and spending thousands of dollars to do so, teleconferencing can make the meeting happen easily and inexpensively.
- Strengthens the company’s relationships. A lot of communication cues are lost when speaking over the phone, such as body language, hand movements and facial expressions. Without these cues, a conversation can feel awkward, which is never a good thing for establishing important business relationships. Bring those visual cues back in and conversations will flow much better.
- Organizes meetings involving several participants. Dragging a lot of people into a single room is not only a time consuming hassle, it’s often counterproductive. When an entire team is packed into a single space, team members may be overlooked and people may have trouble following the proceedings. Teleconferencing gives everyone the space they need, and puts them front and center with everyone else.
Video calls are no longer a novelty that only a select few can afford. They are now a practical option for any business that prioritizes cost effectiveness and communication.