There’s no denying that the Internet has changed the world for good. From work to shopping to chatting with friends, everything we do is affected by our connection to the World Wide Web, and business communication is no different.
Not too long ago, video conferencing was just a clunky novelty – phone calls with pictures – but fast moving improvements in tech and software design have made it a powerful tool in business and commerce. Companies large and small are adapting video conferencing as part of their day to day operations: thirty-two percent of organizations surveyed by the Aberdeen Group in 2013 planned to add it to their arsenal in the next year. What can video conferencing do for your company?
1. Hiring and Talent Acquisition
Even when video conferencing was still new to the scene, one particular group of business professionals welcomed it with open arms: human resources. According to Redshift Research’s recent study, the majority of HR professionals named video calls as their preferred method of communication, beating out phone calls and even email. The professionals surveyed said video interviews are as good as in person interviews, and far outstrip phone calls when it comes to making good hiring decisions. Video interviews and hiring also remove geographic boundaries to hiring and talent acquisition. Niche companies often need employees with unique and hard to find skill sets, and a good video conferencing system makes those talents accessible anywhere in the world.
2. Employee Training
Onboarding new employees is always a challenge, putting stress both on them and the company. Most companies have to relocate new employees or fly a trainer out to remote locations, or subject their new employees to long strings of training videos. The traditional choices have serious drawbacks: either costly and stressful travel or ineffective, non-interactive videos. Video conferencing allows for hands-on, interactive training with no travel required, and results in demonstrably better engagement and learning from new employees. Live remote training also offers a better way to keep current employees updated on the fast-moving changes of the modern business world. No need to continually update expensive training videos: you can host new training sessions regularly with all employees in the comfort of their home offices.
3. Product Demos
Your product and your sales are only as good as your visibility. When it comes to marketing, the internet is both a blessing and a curse. The potential for visibility is enormous…and so is the competition. The traditional methods both have their drawbacks. Live product demos are interactive and engaging, but they have a limited scope and only reach a small audience. Internet videos can reach a huge audience, but pre-recorded demos have to fight to keep an audience’s attention, without the boost of interactivity.
Just like employee training, live video broadcasts like video conference demos and webinars form a bridge that gives you the best of both traditional methods: the reach of a pre-recorded video and the interactive grip of a live demo. Some of the best broadcasting software even allows you to call on audience members with a virtual raised hands, rather than just picking and choosing questions from a live chat stream.
4. Easier Collaboration, Happier Employees
Video conferencing offer a wide range of benefits not just to the company but to its employees…and the company will see the benefits of a happy workforce! The traditional workplace is on its way out as dispersed teams and worldwide collaboration become more common, and commuting becomes more expensive. Major companies like Best Buy and Amazon have seen major benefits of allowing employees to work from home and telecommute…with the support of a good video conferencing system.
Employees who elect to work from home are almost universally less stressed and more productive, but it’s also common for them to feel isolated and out of the loop.
The advantages of video conferencing, especially an easy-to-use browser based service like Blue Jeans, help bridge the gap between on site and off site workers. Browser based systems are compatible with any at-home set up, as well as most tablets and smart phones, and they make quick one-on-one video calls easy. Just send an invite link in an email, click, and hop into a conversation. Dispersed teams need face to face contact to feel like a team and keep everyone working in synch, and quick, compatible video conference calls make that kind of connection easy to build.
Video conferencing was once a science fiction novelty, but these days it’s just a day to day necessity for companies and business people around the globe. There are systems available for any need and any budget, and they all offer huge benefits across all sectors of business communication. What do you need to do today that would be faster and easier with video conferencing?