Thanks to the availability of video and chat apps, consumers are more comfortable than ever with video conferencing. This is especially true of millennial device users, with a 2016 report revealing that more than half of all smartphone users between the ages of 18 and 34 make video calls on their smartphones. As this younger generation enters the workforce, businesses are starting to see the benefit of video conferences and how they need to change the way teams communicate in order to include it in their business strategies.
But there are many other reasons to use video conferencing at your company. It can improve your interactions with both your clients and coworkers, and help you convey concepts in a more concise way than less effective forms of communication. Here are some of the benefits of video conferencing and how it is becoming even more relevant for businesses, no matter what industry you may work in.
Video is Mobile, and Millennial Friendly
Mobile use has continued to grow, with experts predicting that smartphones and tablets will account for nearly 80 percent of all Internet use by next year. For businesses, this means workers are increasingly conducting their work using their smartphones rather than a desktop or laptop computer. And they’re using these devices to make themselves more available despite their location or schedules. Instead of waiting for their boss to come back from a business trip, for instance, an employee can have a face to face, meaningful conversation over video to keep projects moving forward. And as time goes on and more millennials enter the work force, they won’t be hard to convince of the benefits of using video conferencing in business interactions. They’re already using these devices regularly to make video calls, so extending this idea to their careers isn’t too much of a stretch.
Video Shows The Non-Verbal
As the methods of communication turn more and more digital, miscommunication has become increasingly common. In texts and emails, especially, people tend to “fill in the blanks,” adding an inflection or even a facial expression to the words they’re reading. This can also happen over the phone, when a person may not see that the person speaking has a smile, or a concerned look. A key benefit of video conferencing meetings is that it eliminates these discrepancies, letting participants register and understand gather all the body language cues that are so important within conversation. Picking up on the messages that are being communicated non-verbally can vastly improve your relationships with customers or clients.
Video Fosters Team Building
When you’re on a team of employees who aren’t based in the same office or location, there’s always a challenge with team bonding. Phone calls can’t replace the level of connection you get from a face-to-face conversation at the water cooler or in a conference room. Studies show that colleagues who can see each other connect on a deeper level, which is key for productivity and team building. So be sure to encourage video conferencing during all of your team meetings. Encourage a few minutes of socializing at the start or the end of the call, to replace that ‘water cooler’ conversation. It can go a long way to creating a happy and productive team, despite working across a long distance.
Video Combats Remote Isolation
Despite the many benefits of remote work, there’s a downside, as well. Employees who work away from the office have reported feeling socially isolated, not only from their colleagues, but from people in general. Video conferences can help remote workers by bringing that feeling of social interaction and collaboration in a way chat, email, and phone calls can’t. It also brings those employees into the office, connecting them with the rest of the people they work with (as mentioned above!) even if they’re not in the same conference room. Make sure your remote workers are equipped with the tools they need to easily connect to your online meetings and encourage them to regularly use video conferencing for their conversations with everyone – coworkers, vendors, and clients.
Video Saves Time and Money
The use of a video conference system can also help a business save on time and money. Having an in-person meeting means people need to travel to get there. This means employees and companies have to worry about travel cost, which can be quite extensive in some cases. There may even be instances where workers travel across the country, just to be in a meeting. Video conferencing eliminates most if not all of these travel cases. By allowing people to be on a video call from anywhere in the country or the world, they no longer have to be in the same room. Just think of all the money saved by conducting meetings via video conference, not to mention the amount of time workers don’t have to spend on the road or on a plane. Going the video conference route is an overall cost-cutting and time-saving strategy.
Video conferencing is easier than ever, thanks to the prevalence of mobile devices in the workplace and frequent use by younger generations. And it’s benefits to business communication are abundant to every company that uses it. Over time, as companies add video conferencing into their meeting culture, we expect they’ll find that employees prefer video calls. Just make sure they’re ready for their close-up!