Today, most people cannot imagine their lives without technology, but it’s not only our private lives where we use digital means of communication on a daily basis. The business world had already been on the path to a digital revolution and it can be argued that the pandemic provided a shortcut in some ways. With increased work-from-home rates, businesses needed to develop efficient ways of staying in touch and maintaining productivity even during social distancing.
Perhaps one of the most efficient ways of doing this (if not the single most efficient one) is through video conferencing. Video conferencing is an audio-visual call where two or more people can communicate live and face to face regardless of their physical location. A strong internet connection and a great video conferencing platform allow real-time communication and high quality of picture and sound, making these kinds of meetings more than just a necessary alternative to traditional meetings. Video conferencing can not only save resources for your business but can even help it grow. Here are 10 business benefits video conferencing has that you shouldn’t ignore.
For a meeting to be productive, it’s important that the participants actually “tune in.” A lot of people have the impression that video conferences are boring. However, this highly depends on how the virtual meeting is actually executed. When compared to other distance conferencing options, it is clear that video conferencing is superior in many ways. Audio conferences provide the opportunity for busy participants to multitask during the meeting, which greatly diminishes how much they are actually listening to what is being said. A video conference eliminates this possibility with the added visual aspect. Since each participant appears on the screen, they need to stay much more engaged so as not to seem disinterested.
It is only natural that every business out there wants to minimize its expenses. Luckily, another notable benefit of utilizing video conferencing is that it can help you lower your overhead. A virtual meeting eliminates the need for a physical space you possibly need to rent and prepare for the meeting. You can also forget about the costs associated with catering for your guests. All in all, even paid video conferencing services will be more cost-efficient than all the preparations associated with in-person meetings.
As we just mentioned, virtual meetings are a great money-saver. However, saving a few bucks on meeting snacks and such is not the whole extent of the matter. Another great advantage of video conferencing is that it is also very time-efficient. And in the world of business, time is money. Organizing a meeting is quite time-consuming. The meeting itself is even more so. It is inevitable that there are going to be delayed due to some parties being late, and pleasantries and digressions can also take up a lot of time when meeting in person. On the other hand, setting up a video conference is quick and easy. If you use the same link and password for each meeting, you won’t even have to do anything to set up future meetings. In addition, anyone can join or leave the meeting at any time without serious disruption, and as soon as the meeting is over, everyone can resume their work at once, minimizing the amount of time lost.
Minimizing the need for travel
Another huge expense for businesses that often attend meetings can be the cost of travel. Traveling to a different place for a meeting is not only time-consuming but also expensive. Besides the transportation expenses, there is also accommodation and spending money to think about. Needless to say, these can add up. Besides eating up your resources, frequent travel is also extremely harmful to the environment. Instead of contributing to CO2 emissions, you can organize a video conference and get things done much cheaper and greener. Finally, the fact that video conferencing eliminates the need for travel means that anyone can join regardless of where they are. This makes scheduling more flexible and attendance rates higher.
Clear communication is a prerequisite for any kind of business. Poor communication can not only hinder your business goals but can also wreak havoc on the relationships within the workplace. In the era of telecommuting, much of the usual in-person communication is lost. Companies employing remote workers thus heavily rely on written means of communication, such as email and instant messaging, during day-to-day operations. The problem with this is that these means of communication are very susceptible to error. While audio may be more accurate in some ways, audio conferences lack the visual clues that are normally present during communication, which can also cause difficulties in understanding. It is quite clear thus that video conferencing is second only to in-person meetings in this regard. When in-person meetings are unfeasible or not worth the time and money for the extent of the issues to be discussed, a video conference is a reliable and easy solution.
One tool for all
The business environment is quite dynamic, which means managers can get overwhelmed with all the tasks at their hand. Especially in the era of telecommuting, the sheer number of tools to manage on a daily basis can get out of hand. When file sharing, messaging, calls, and everything else is all over the place, it’s easy for information to get lost on the way. Instead of overcomplicating things, focusing on simplifying processes is always a good idea. Coincidentally, video conferencing is quite effective in this. A good video conferencing tool can provide you with all the additional tools you may need during a meeting, from screen sharing to file sharing. Not only does this allow the audience to focus on the meeting better but it also centralizes the information communicated during the conference. You may even save the meeting for future reference.
Opening up new talent pools
It is likely that you are already utilizing telecommuting to a degree in your business. However, the option of video conferencing opens up a whole new world of possibilities in this regard. Since video conferences can now hardly be said to be subpar ways of doing business, the location of your partners and employees becomes an irrelevant detail. Since now you are no longer limited by geography, you have the option of acquiring talent from all over the world. This can be a huge advantage if your company struggles to find the right person for certain specialized tasks locally. With video conferencing, you will be able to keep in contact with your remote employees with no problem and diversify your workforce with people of all kinds of backgrounds, too.
When businesses switched to telecommuting last year, a prominent issue that arose was an increased sense of isolation among employees. As a business owner, you want to ensure that your employees can work at their best, and demotivated employees can hardly do so. So, make sure your remote workforce can maintain their sense of community and belong to your work collective by having regular video meetings. Besides tending to your own employees, another important thing video conferencing can help you with is maintaining business relations. Business relations are extremely important for the future of your business so you must not neglect your partners. When in-person meetings are not exactly feasible, you may merely keep in contact through email. As we already detailed, this is not the most reliable way to discuss matters, not to mention that the lack of face-to-face contact can also be alienating. Utilizing video conferencing can help you nurture positive relations and show that your business cares about direct communication even in times of crisis.
Based on all of the previous benefits of video conferencing that we have mentioned, it is not difficult to draw the conclusion that this means of communication can boost the productivity of your business on several fronts. Firstly, having a video meeting does not interfere with your employees’ workflow as much as having a regular meeting would. They do not need to leave their workstations at all to attend the meeting, so they can resume work seamlessly. Secondly, the abovementioned integrated tools that you will be able to use during your video conferences save you time and effort when it comes to filing sharing and such. Finally, as we just said, the possibility of face-to-face communication also boosts your employees’ motivation levels as they will be able to maintain their relationships with their colleagues. This allows them to stay focused and productive.
It gives you a competitive edge
In this day and age, no company can afford to lag behind when it comes to integrating technology in their operations. In the age where most companies are already using this technology, skipping it will make you an undesirable business partner. Video conferencing keeps your company competitive thanks to its advantages: it continuously saves you time and money while boosting your business’s productivity, so leveraging it is a no-brainer. In addition, being on top of video conferencing will also establish your company as one that strives to be on the cutting edge.
Video conferencing is a necessity today, but considering all of its benefits, no company will be reluctant to integrate it. Investing in this tool pays you back manyfold.