Re-post article from Talkbusinessmagazine.co.uk
Video conferencing is paramount to explaining the success of the Internet. Today, it’s an incredibly straightforward and common way to communicate online – and merely ten years ago, its spread was nowhere near as large.
The Internet is always said to connect people and make the world smaller, but whereas anonymity and privacy rules in online boards and forums, dominating the world of text, video conferencing truly pulls people together the way they meant to be pulled together: face-to-face.
All that ties in beautifully with any business, because at its core, video conferencing is: cheaper than ever, easy to set up, and all about better communication within and outside the company’s walls.
1.) Small businesses need more time
It depends on your industry and the size of your company, but for the most part, funding and running a small business can be an incredible amount of stress. Video conferencing can make running a business easier in multiple ways – for one, it can completely eliminate the need for an office.
Companies can still meet each other face-to-face in a single video call with dozens of participants, and find a way to efficiently manage operations. The key is finding a quality video conferencing provider to make conference calls seamless. Companies like Blue Jeans beat free VOIP alternatives through offering a larger myriad of business-oriented features, and a focus on usability.
While one option to using video conferencing is to make outsourcing more feasible, another is to cut down on travel time and money when meeting clients. Professional video conferencing software can’t replace a face-to-face meeting, but it can replace some face-to-face meetings while maintaining a positive image of your company.
2.) Cut meetings short through video conferencing
It’s not exactly rocket science to figure out that meetings are a waste of time – in most cases, that is. The concept of a meeting works – assemble your company to go over, brainstorm and discuss the important matters of the day, week or month. But in reality, they’re gaping black holes in many people’s work schedules.
According to Attentiv, over a third of meeting goers consider meetings to be unproductive, and two-thirds of all meetings are started without a pre-planned agenda. Running a successful meeting is all about brevity and a controlled, democratic environment.
That’s where video conferencing comes in. Companies have previously made use of video conferencing to change the way they meet – and it helps. Not only does video conferencing give everyone an equal amount of screen time and vocal volume, it also puts people on the spot – they’re on camera, after all. Meeting goers are much less likely to surf around, work on other things, or fall asleep when they’re on a direct line with their boss, and a dozen other people. This lets meeting managers cut through distractions and get straight to what’s important: actually making decisions, with real input from the staff.
3.) Make use of telecommuting
Any company can benefit from telecommuting. You don’t have to give up an office to make use of a work-from-home workforce. For those who can make it work, working from home can be an incredible financial asset. Less time spent commuting and less energy spent at the company’s expense means better profits for the business, while video conferencing maintains a real, face-to-face connection between employees and their employers.
Long-term employees aside, freelancers or an outsourced team can also be better communicated with through a simple daily video chat.
4.) Bring client meetings and project discussions online
You don’t have to fly to Paris on a monthly basis to speak to your client when you can speak to them face-to-face from your London office. And even better, you don’t have to depend on just hearing their voice to get a good grasp of how things are going over there.
According to a study by Wainhouse Research, video conferencing is being used often even during those inevitable physical meetings when people simply have to hit the road. You can speak face-to-face to your employees and staff while crossing the channel.
5.) Screen freelancers and telecommuters like never before
Today, finding a freelancer is incredibly easy. Thanks to the Internet, the world is full of skilled workers at various degrees of experience looking for any number of jobs. But how can you find a qualified professional when you’ve got little else to work with than a profile and instant messaging? You use video calling. Nothing substitutes for a face-to-face meeting, and doing that online through microphones and webcams is still enough to get a grasp for who you’re going to be working with.
There are plenty other reasons to give video conference calling a try – not the least of which is the fact that it’s simply much, much easier and cheaper now than ever before. Video is getting more and more use on a daily basis as tablets, smartphones and laptops become common items among professionals in all industries, and video communication is becoming the norm on the personal front. So why not make use of its benefits in business?