Significant advancements in technology have dramatically changed how we communicate in the modern world. In the past, companies were limited to in-person meetings or phone calls if they wanted to connect with team members to discuss projects or other office tasks. However, today, video conferencing has become one of the dominant forms of communication within a business.
The rise of remote workforces has played a vital role in this shift towards video communication - remote working has increased a whopping 140% since 2005, and 55% of companies now allow remote working. In simple words, remote workers benefit greatly from video conferencing and the additional features these tools often provide, like task management, third-party integrations, workflow management tools, and so on.
However, many companies remain unconvinced of how powerful video conferencing tools can be at transforming communication. So we're going to get into today - why you should integrate video for business communication and how you can do it.
One of the most critical decisions any business will need to make is deciding exactly what tools to use. Ideally, you want to choose one or only a few tools. If you allow every department to choose their own tool, you'll quickly run into issues when workers from across teams need to meet. Additionally, the more tools you have, the more configurations and security concerns the IT team needs to manage.
So, what tools should you be using? The most popular tools on the market are Google Meet, RemotePC Meeting, Skype, MS Teams, Zoom, GoToMeeting, RingCentral Video, and ClickMeeting. You'll probably want to research each of these tools individually to see what works the best for your business. However, when deciding, it's always a good idea to pay attention to what a tool can offer over its competitors (its unique selling point). Most video communication tools will allow you to do the same basic things (video call), so additional features or considerations will be the deciding factor.
For example, Google Meet is great for companies already using the Google ecosystem and those with a more limited budget (it offers a lot of functionality but doesn't have the same steep monthly costs as some other options). Similarly, Microsoft Teams supports full MS 365 integration and allows you to host up to 10,000 participants.
Less well-known options like RemotePC Meeting and GoToMeeting also offer distinct benefits. For example, RemotePC is packed with additional features and is known for its excellent security, while GoToMeeting is very mobile-friendly.
Audio conferences tend to make people switch off and lose focus. Why? Because humans are visual creatures that thrive on non-verbal feedback like eye contact, mannerisms, and body language. Since all meeting members are visible in a video conference, people are less likely to become distracted and do things like go on their smartphones and miss critical information.
In the era of remote working, holding meetings can mean time-consuming and expensive traveling costs. Video conferencing eliminates this. It also promotes increased flexibility and fluidity. For example, if a worker has to travel into the office for a meeting, they're unlikely to immediately move onto their next task when the meeting is over. Why? Because they have to travel home or find an available hotdesk. Or maybe their travel time cut into their lunch break, and now they're hungry.
With video conferencing, workers can move from the meeting straight back to their work with minimal distraction.
Studies show that people process visual information more quickly and accurately than audio or text. So by deploying video communication tools, you're allowing team members to collaborate and ensuring they're getting more from the information they presented to them.
As video communication becomes more widespread, it's being increasingly used as a tool for quick on-the-fly communication. For example, you don't always need a scheduled meeting with an agenda and many participants. Instead, you can simply video call an employee to ask them a quick question. This promotes increased productivity because workers spend less time writing emails and waiting hours or even days for a response.
We've all been there - maybe you have a critical project item to discuss or need to ask a crucial question to a member of another department, but you can't find the time to meet with them in person. Office environments are busy places, and in the fiercely competitive business world of today, people have more tasks to manage than ever before. Luckily, the quick and convenient nature of video conferencing makes it much easier to secure meetings with anyone, no matter their role.