If you’ve found yourself logging on for more video meetings at work lately, you’re not alone. According to the 2019 Impact of Video Conferencing Report by Lifesize, 48% of business professionals say their use of video-conferencing at work has increased compared to two years ago.
And that study was before a global pandemic drove even more companies to work remotely. Videoconferencing isn’t without limitations, but businesses and workers are finding it an essential tool for empowering remote work.
With videoconferencing, employees and contractors can work from home while still collaborating with their teams and attending important meetings. The flexibility enables individuals in rural communities to not only have more control over their work-life balance but also “telecommute” to urban companies when needed.
Companies also benefit from the ability to recruit talent from anywhere. Business owners have the freedom to set up shop in rural communities, for example, then employ or partner with experts from around the world.
Video teleconferencing not only empowers remote productivity but also helps workers overcome some of its challenges. According to Buffer’s 2019 State of Remote Work Study, 19% of remote workers cite loneliness as their biggest struggle when working remotely. Video calls can help.
Compared to telephone conferences, video calls make it easier to form connections. The experience more closely reflects face-to-face encounters. For example, participants can see facial expressions and body language to better identify how others are responding to their ideas as they collaborate on projects.
When teams work over videoconferencing platforms, everyone involved saves time and money. Cutting a commute across town — or in some cases, the globe — benefits people’s schedules, companies’ bottom lines and even the environment.
Plus, the work itself can be more efficient online. In the Life size study, 89% of respondents agreed that videoconferencing reduces the time it takes to complete projects or tasks. People may be more likely to enter an online meeting with an agenda and honor the scheduled start and end times. Plus, they can avoid the interruptions common to in-office meetings.
OVERCOMING THE CHALLENGES
Despite its many benefits, videoconferencing isn’t without challenges. Not all tech tools are secure, so companies must research available options carefully to protect their employees and data. Team leaders must make an effort to coordinate meetings ahead of time to ensure everyone is online and available. And if any employees lack access to fast, reliable internet, technical difficulties can bring meetings to a frustrating halt.
Despite their drawbacks, videoconferencing platforms are here to stay. In the Buffer survey, 99% of respondents agreed they’d like to work remotely at least some of the time for the rest of their careers. Thanks to the increasingly wide-spread use of videoconferencing technology, they just might.
Three options for effective videoconferencing
- For interactive meetings and webinars, try ClickMeeting. Presenters can share their screen, run live Q&A sessions to engage the audience and collect valuable attendee data using polls. With an automated follow-up feature, this platform makes it easy to keep the momentum going after a webinar ends.
- Microsoft Teams For a platform that scales with ease, check out Microsoft Teams. Users can schedule video meetings with a single person or run large webinars and meetings of up to 10,000 participants. A long list of features and functionalities makes it a top choice for many businesses.
- Google Meet For fans of the Google Suite, Google Meet is a convenient choice that smoothly integrates with other applications like Google Calendar and Gmail. Participants can easily join in from their web browser or dial in to listen from anywhere. This platform has big-business capabilities without the big-business price tag, making it a great option for growing companies.