The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly driven enterprise leaders to rethink the way they operate their businesses. In order to conduct business without disruption, professionals have turned to video conferencing to stay connected with their colleagues and customers.
With the need to social distance and work remotely, video conferencing provides a more personalized approach. It serves as the closest alternative to a face-to-face meeting. Video conferencing provides a forum to enable leadership to relay messages quickly to their employees and address concerns on the spot.
Effective communication is key during this trying time and outside of it to keep businesses running smoothly. Communication plays a critical role in keeping global employees connected, as well as keeping in contact with customers who reside in different locations.
The new world remote work has encouraged enterprise leaders to transform the way they function by leaning more on video to stay connected. A multitude of professionals have now become well versed in digital and conferencing platforms like Zoom, tools which they may have never entertained prior.
Many professionals now have tangible experience leaning on technology tools. They’re therefore able to better understand the value of replacing phone calls with video conferencing.
The results of the novel coronavirus are therefore certain to leave a lasting impact on the way businesses run and employees communicate long after it’s safe to return to the workplace. However, there is no one-size-fits all for how a business should operate, so there are some pros and cons of video conferencing that professionals should consider.
Potential video conferencing challenges to be aware of and troubleshoot
Video conferencing can be beneficial for businesses, but only when it is utilized effectively. While some video platforms and digital tools may seem simple or intuitive to use, business leaders shouldn’t make assumptions. Holding training sessions will ensure employees are aware of the multitude of features available to them within these platforms and how to best use them. For example, many individuals are utilizing tools like Zoom but are not aware of virtual backgrounds which can help to block out distractions.
Lighting and sound quality can also play significant roles in ensuring employees can effectively communicate and avoid distractions. Sometimes setting up the calls themselves, ensuring participants have the right links to join, poor audio quality and other elements can steal time away from actually discussing business matters. These are all issues which can be easily troubleshooted with both education and practice.
Business leaders would also be wise to equip their employees with strong Internet connections. Cutting in and out of calls with clients is far from professional or ideal. Therefore, if an employee has a weak Internet connection, they should flag this to management and opt to conduct regular audio calls with external clients until the Internet issues are resolved.
Additionally, best practice for video conferencing includes setting a clear agenda and communication points prior to the conference call to ensure all viewers stay on track while participating remotely.
There are therefore several advantages and disadvantages of video conferencing to address with employees. However, all of these potential issues and factors can be easily solved with proper training sessions and guidance in place.
The core benefits and advantages of video conferencing
The benefits of video conferencing in business cannot be downplayed. The advantages of video conferencing in business include more personalization, saved commute times and more:
- Enabling more personal meetings: While few will dispute the advantages of teleconferencing compared to e-mail, video conferences take audio calls to the next level. With video, tones are unlikely to be miscontructured due to added cues of facial expressions. Video conference calls allow businesses to build more personalized connections with clients. Consumers using services and products are satisfied with the opportunity to have a direct, personal line to businesses to either voice concerns or as an aid to build stronger, more personal relationships with their providers. Phone calls and emails simply don’t allow for this level of interaction.
- Saving time and money: While business relationships can thrive from in-person meetings, travel can consume large chunks from your time and budget. While some meetings are best left for in-person interactions, many can be handled just as easily with video conferencing. Leaning more on technology tools to enable these meetings will allow you to gain back substantial time and budget and allocate these toward more pressing tasks which can benefit from extra time, attention and investment.
- Providing users with convenience: In addition to no longer needing to travel to see colleagues or clients, remote tools also fuel more timely connections. Individuals can utilize video conferencing platforms to connect quickly with colleagues when time-sensitive or pressing situations arise. Users can benefit from the ability to connect seamlessly with individuals situated in different time zones outside of standard work hours, while doing so from the comfort of their homes.
- Recording tools: The majority of video conferencing platforms, such as Zoom, allow for meetings to be recorded. Recordings can help to ensure that important points from a meeting are not missed. Certain providers, such as Verbit, offer opportunities to generate live transcripts of these video calls utilizing tools like Artificial Intelligence and provide timestamps. Timestamps can be placed at :30 second or 1 minute marks for example and help employees, such as assistants, produce summaries of meetings to share with key stakeholders.
- Onboarding employees: There are also advantages of video conferencing in education of new employees. Human resource departments often utilize video conferencing for onboarding and offboarding of employees. HR professionals are typically based in an enterprise’s headquarters. The ability to educate and train employees who are in remote locations has proven to be most effective and engaging with video tools. Adding captions and transcriptions to these training videos also allow employees to go back and reference materials later to ensure important information sticks.
- Offering accessibility: The advantages of teleconferencing with video also present opportunities for all employees to be given equal opportunities to engage and participate. For example, Verbit has released an integration for enterprises to utilize its live captions and transcription features in Zoom. These tools guarantee that employees viewing remotely, participating without sound or those who have disabilities, such as hearing loss, can continue to engage effectively in meetings.
Enterprise leaders can only stand to benefit from the advantages of web conferencing in business. Providing a more personalized, inclusive approach to employee participation across a range of scenarios can only lead to improved communication. With more clarity, businesses and workflows will run more efficiently. It’s difficult to dispute the advantages of video in business communication. Video conferencing tools will continue to prove themselves to be useful, engaging tools for communication long after the novel coronavirus has been contained.