Expensive commercial real estate, rapidly improving video technology, and a global pandemic — these three factors have pushed a world already becoming more comfortable with video conferencing technology toward relying on this software even more.
Video conferencing presents a huge opportunity for companies who want to change how they operate, boosting worker productivity and morale while dramatically lowering costs. If you’re considering making video conferencing a bigger part of your company’s day-to-day operations, this guide is for you.
Regardless of which types of video conferencing services you choose, you’ll enjoy these nine benefits.
9 benefits of embracing video conferencing:
- Teams are more productive
- Employees coordinate better
- Things run more efficiently
- All stakeholders can attend
- Meetings are more organized
- Participants are more engaged
- Happier employees equal better retention
- A bigger talent pool to choose from
- Save the company a lot of money
1. Teams are more productive
Video conferencing software makes teams more productive. Employees can quickly gather to process results and talk through a project, with no need to figure out the logistics of getting everyone into the same room simultaneously. At a moment's notice, as long as everyone's free, you could start a meeting and deal with an urgent issue that wouldn’t be possible if you relied on face-to-face meetings.
- Example: Jane needs answers for a client request, so she holds a video conferencing call with the individuals she needs to get information from. She’s able to answer the client’s request in a little more than an hour. Before, this would have taken hours or even days of emailing to handle it without scheduling a video call.
2. Employees coordinate better
A video conference also improves employee coordination. When employees try to work on an issue over email, it means a lot of back and forth. If you get everyone on a video conferencing call, however, they’ll be able to talk through issues more quickly. You could hold regular and impromptu meetings with freelancers and full-time employees.
This setup is ideal for project teams spread out over multiple locations. Video conferencing gives many companies the option of having a tight-knit team with no office, saving the company a lot of money.
- Example: Greg gets an urgent request from a client about a project. He holds a video call with his team and they brainstorm ideas on how to deal with the time-sensitive issue. They come up with a solution and thrill the client with an almost immediate answer to his issue.
3. Things run more efficiently
Video calls save a lot of time on communication efforts, they help projects get completed more seamlessly, and they help a company run more efficiently in general. Video conferencing saves people time, helps them work better together, and improves team management to avoid time- and money-wasting mistakes.
It takes a little while to get used to a new system revolving around video conferencing, but once everyone adjusts, meetings run more smoothly — and so does the company.
- Example: A project deliverable requires a brainstorming session, so the team holds a video call to get feedback from members spread around the country. A task that would have taken hours if done over email or chat wraps up in just half an hour with a solid plan forward. As a result, the client gets the deliverable faster with fewer hassles.
4. All stakeholders can attend
The biggest problem with in-person meetings is that often not everyone who is involved in a project can attend. People have busy schedules, and it’s tough to find a time slot that works for everyone.
This is especially true for organizations that have team members spread across the country — or around the world — or that work with remote freelancers. A remote meeting fixes this, allowing everyone to attend no matter where they are, and so you won’t lose their valuable input.
- Example: A team must communicate a client’s needs for a project; however, half the team is at the company’s New York headquarters while the other half are at their Miami branch. Rather than fly everyone in for the meeting or conduct two meetings, they set up a quick business video chat and easily hold the meeting with everyone attending.
5. Meetings are more organized
Online video conference platforms provide tools to keep meetings more organized and fluid, so they don’t drag on and waste everyone’s time. With video conferencing, it’s easier to set an agenda and stick to it. You can set a start and end time for the video call, and you can use screen sharing software to integrate the agenda into the call’s notes so they are always in front of everyone.
- Example: A team struggles to have organized meetings, with conversations frequently going down rabbit holes and nothing much being accomplished despite the meeting running more than an hour. The organizer sets up a video conferencing call with a start and end time, and he integrates the agenda into the video conferencing software so he can easily call people’s attention back to it.
6. Participants are more engaged
It’s hard to be engaged when you’re just conversing over email or phone calls. When you can see everyone’s faces via online video calling, meeting participants will be more dialed in. And because everyone is visible, it makes everyone more alert and prevents people from zoning out. Meetings enjoy more back-and-forth, more collaboration, and more enthusiasm. This creates value for the company and for its clients.
- Example: John had noticed that his team was struggling to complete project milestones on time, so he set up a video conference call. Soon, everyone was talking about their own frustrations about certain processes and talking through potential solutions to overcome the roadblocks.
7. Happier employees mean better retention
Video conferencing calls allows companies to get things done without having employees’ work lives dominated by meetings. This means an improved work-life balance for employees, which leads to happier employees, which improves a company’s employee retention rate. Video conferencing allows employees to work in remote locations rather than commute to the office, which many workers consider a valuable perk.
- Example: Samantha has just given birth and has to stay home with her child, but she loves her job and doesn’t want to leave. The company doesn’t want to lose her due to her expertise on matters important to their clients. Thanks to video conferencing, the company can accommodate her and let her work from home while she takes care of her child.
8. You have a bigger talent pool to choose from
Companies that rely on in-person meetings and office attendance can only recruit people who either already live within commuting distance of the building, or who will relocate to the general area. That’s a tiny percentage of the world. Video conferencing allows you to recruit people from anywhere, so you can focus on getting the best person possible for the job rather than confine your search to a narrow geographic area.
- Example: A company needs engineers to develop a specific product, but the best candidates they’ve found are located out of state. The company adopts a video conferencing policy, which allows them to hire those individuals without requiring them to relocate.
9. It could save the company a lot of money
Companies spend a lot of money on office space. One study found that the total value of U.S. commercial real estate in 2018 was $16 trillion. Rather than spend a large sum of money on office space, why not let everyone work from home and use video telecommunication to keep everyone on the same page?
Companies are doing this more and more often, recognizing that they can save a lot of money each month with basically no productivity drop-off.
- Example: A company spends $10,000 per month on office space for its sales team. After the COVID-19 pandemic, they discovered that even when the sales team were working at home, their productivity remained the same. The company declines to renew its lease and changes all sales positions to remote-only, putting the savings into expanding the company.
Replace face-to-face meetings with video conferencing
One of the best tips for working remotely is to lean heavily on video. If you haven’t used it in the past, it’s time to experiment. Video conferencing is key to remotely managing a team and offers numerous benefits that could make your team more productive while saving the company a lot of money.
The best way to implement it into your business is to just use it — replace a face-to-face meeting with a quick video conference call, and use it as an opportunity to experiment with different types of software to see which works best for your team. For example, you could initiate these activities right away:
- Schedule a Google Meet to conduct your weekly status report.
- Use Zoom for a virtual brainstorming session.
- Set up an online video conference call with clients via Webex.
- Explore other software options to see which one might fit your company best.
After a while, you’ll have a good idea which software fits your team best and what kind of video conferencing policy will help your company going forward.