With the advent of globalization, technology is changing the modern workplace. One of the disruptions is in the realm of business communication. Companies need to transfer information, hold meetings, and make quick business decisions. Without innovative communication technology, your business stands to lose its competitive edge. One such technology is video conferencing. Research shows 86% of companies use teleconferencing in their communications. It has transformed how managers interact with their workers, clients, and suppliers. The benefits of video conferencing are huge and that is what we want to share with you today. But first, what is video conferencing?
Understanding video conferencing
Video conferencing is a cloud-based form of distant conferencing where two or more people can communicate with each other. It is an improvement on the telephone conferencing. For example unlike telephone conferencing teams can interact with one another in real-time. Also, they can share information through presentations and calls in a meeting. Video conferencing can be organized for team members working in remote locations or between team members and clients. With an unlimited number of participants that can be included in one meeting the potential of video conferencing is huge.
What you will need for video conferencing
For you to organize a successful video conferencing you will need several components. The number of tools required will vary depending on your preferences, budget, and number of participants. However, the following are the irreducible minimums you must have to get video conferencing moving.
1. Software programs
It is the foundation on which video conferencing is based. They come with different features and requirements. The kind you choose to use will be dictated by factors such as your budget, the length of meetings you will be conducting, and tools and integrations it allows. Some of them have free versions but with limitations in features and capabilities. For example, you cannot hold a teleconference meeting lasting more than forty minutes on the free version of Zoom. Other common examples in the market include;
● Microsoft Teams
● Skype For Business
● EZ Talks Meeting
2. Video equipment
For a successful interaction, the participants will need to see each other in real-time. That will be made possible by the use of a webcam. Alternatively, you can have a normal camera as long as it can transmit quality videos. To receive video from the other end you will need either a laptop/desktop screen, a video projector, or a digital TV screen.
Quality audio equipment is an essential part of the video conferencing set. Sometimes the loudspeakers on the laptop or desktops are sufficient. But that will depend on the number of participants in the conference room. If the audience is large you may need to acquire more powerful loudspeakers which you can place at a convenient point in the conference hall. Other tools include microphones, headphones, and sound amplifiers.
It is the backbone of teleconferencing. You will need to have fast and reliable internet for smooth and flawless communication. If your Internet service provider has a history of frequent downtimes you risk losing out on important engagement of the meeting. And that is not a desirable experience.
5. Echo cancellation gadgets
Echo is the effect of spoken voice boomeranging back to the speaker. It can be quite disruptive resulting in poor communication between teleconference participants. Fortunately, it is possible to use echo cancellation gadgets that cancel out the feedback.
Why video conferencing can increase productivity
One of the benefits of teleconferencing is that it eliminates the need for traveling or flying to meeting venues. Businesses are therefore able to save on the travel budgets This increases productivity as resources and time that could have been spent on traveling is reallocated to more productive uses.
In a study published on CNBC Make It, employees with a higher level of flexibility were found to have higher job satisfaction. Such companies experienced higher job retention and increased productivity as they are able to work freely. And what better flexibility than having teleconferencing at the comfort of your office? For example, if you have a large remote based sales team you can easily enjoin them in a meeting and let them file their reports without having to travel back and forth to the main office
While collaboration is important to optimize productivity, it is hard to get output from all members without a unique way of bringing them together. Therefore the company losses the benefits of such talents. But with teleconferencing, everyone is coopted in from the remotest location to input to a brainstorming teleconference meeting.
Breakdown of geographical barriers
Companies don’t have to be restricted by the physical location of the workers during recruitment. Recruiters can hire workers from any part of the world. With no such regional restrictions, companies are able to search and recruit top talent from anywhere globally.
Video conferencing is eco friendly
The amount of time and fuel sent on traveling and flying to meetings is huge. This alone creates a substantial amount of greenhouse gas emissions. For example, the World Wildlife Fund organization observes that traveling by employees accounts for approximately 50% of carbon emissions among the non-manufacturing companies.
Moreover, oftentimes littering is one of the biggest downsides of in-person meetings. Snacks waste papers, plastic water bottles, and soft drink bottles, and paper handouts. While there is also bound to be littering with teleconferencing, it is localized in those remote locations and on a smaller scale.
Improves workforce management
Managing employees in different remote locations is an arduous task. It may be hard to keep a tab of what they are up to. But with video conferencing, you can schedule times of the week or the month to get their feedback on work progress. Also unlike email and telephone with video conferencing it is hard to obscure body language. Understanding body language communicates unspoken messages from your employees.
With in-person meetings, it is very easy to lose track of time. Recent data shows that 9 out of 10 people daydream in meetings. However, with teleconferencing, most meetings are timed to last a certain duration of time. Therefore most workers are alert to the topic of discussion. The increased focus will increase efficiency and productivity.
The use of video conferencing is no longer a matter of choice for businesses any more. With the need for remote working, your workers are likely to be in different locations. And if you want timely and improved means of conveying ideas and communicating decisions to your workers, teleconferencing is the way to go. With the advent of cloud-based software, communication has never been more cost-effective, scalable, and flexible compared to the traditional means of communication.
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