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With a growing group of people working from home, video meetings seem to have become a fixed part of our working day. Although there is an abundance of ways and technologies to keep in touch with remote colleagues, partners and customers, there is probably nothing more engaging than a video meeting. What exactly are the benefits of meeting through video?
Remote work is soaring. According to Barco research, 53% of our meetings today are either partially or fully remote. Along with the boom of remote and flexible work comes a higher use of video meetings. This does not come as a surprise. No matter how much working from home in peaceful isolation can boost our productivity, there will always be a need to connect with people. Businesses thrive on communication and collaboration, and they need the tools to make that happen.
Video has quickly become the preferred conferencing technology. According to that same Barco research, 77% of respondents say that video will be standard in meetings within the next three years, while audio conferencing is no longer an acceptable option.
COVID-19 has only accelerated this trend. As an example, in March 2020, Microsoft reported that its Teams collaboration platform had seen a 500% increase in meetings, calls, and conferences.
Sure, you could argue that a video meeting saves time and travel cost. Meeting remotely through video saves you the trouble of having to flock together in a corporate meeting room. You could also argue that video meetings allow anyone to call in from anywhere, whether you are at a landscape desk or sipping a Mojito under a palm tree. But that can easily be said of old school communication technologies like email, phone and messaging too.
So, what makes video different? We can think of at least four things.
With today’s state of the art, video is the closest we get to face-to-face meetings. Just like in a physical meeting, video allows meeting participants to read each other’s feelings through facial expressions and it allows us to catch the nonverbal communication cues that go along with it.
We don’t get that with text messages or email. Without the vocal inflections or physical gestures that typically accompany a vocal conversation, so much nuance can get lost. In some emails, it can even be hard to judge whether a person is serious, ironic or angry. Emoticons and exclamation points can only do so much.
The same goes for audio. In a phone conversation or audio conference, we miss the essential nonverbal cues, facial expressions and body language of our meeting participants that make our human communication complete.
Video allows for a much more efficient, visual way of communication. Through video conferencing, we can demonstrate products, share our screen content, and introduce new people to the group. By communicating more visually, we can process information more quickly and make faster decisions, which results in more productive meetings.
We all have experienced it in traditional audio conference calls, especially during the longer and more crowded ones. It’s so easy to let our minds go astray when it’s not our turn to speak. We don’t pay attention, and sometimes we even start doing non-meeting related things (emails, the dishes, contemplating our weekend plans).
In video meetings, where everyone can see you and you can see everyone, you are more inclined to stay focused on the meeting subject. According to Barco research, 66% of respondents found that videoconferencing created more meeting engagement and that people are more willing to participate thanks to video.
Being more present in the meeting even starts with how we prepare a video call. We tidy our desks, we comb our hair, put on a clean shirt, and make sure our kids and pets are out of the room. All things that seem to be less needed in audio calls.
While the perks of occasional home office are obvious, remote work has its downsides as well. Over time, people may feel isolated, cut off from the everyday hustle and bustle of the office, and the general employee engagement may drop significantly. Even when we move towards a more hybrid form of working, balancing between having meetings with both remote and in-room participants, the danger of isolation for the remote attendee is still apparent.
Videoconferencing has the magical power of reestablishing that emotional connection between people. In contrast to emails and phone calls, video can create a sense of togetherness, strengthen connectivity, and fight isolation. Employees that are more engaged and more committed to the organization will be more productive as well.
We have reached a stage where businesses no longer think of video conferencing as a nice-to-have, but as a must-have. With Barco’s ClickShare wireless conferencing system, businesses have the power to collaborate and communicate more efficiently through video.
But there is more. Thanks to the latest technology advances, professional video conferencing has become accessible to more users. With ClickShare Conference for example, video conferencing is no longer a stressful experience that forces meeting participants to adjust to the meeting room technology at hand. Instead, they can use ClickShare to leverage the possibilities of their own personal devices and preferred conferencing platform (e.g. Microsoft Teams, Webex, Zoom and many more).
People love video conferencing. And for that reason, they will love ClickShare Conference as well to share content, meet and collaborate more effectively.