Benefits of Video Conferencing Software for Business
The way businesses work changes with the progression of technology and video conferencing has changed the overall concept of internal communication. It boosts all individual aspects connected to maintaining business-related relationships, productivity, time, and cost-efficiency.
All of these and more are now simpler to handle with the simple addition of video conferencing. It would be hard to believe if you tell us that you have not taken advantage of these possibilities but in case you are just starting your new business, here are the benefits of video conferencing and several of the best tools to consider.
Less Travel & Costs
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of video conferencing is the possibility to forget about the constant traveling to meet face to face. As long as both sides accept this option, you can forget about having to leave the office for every meeting.
This, of course, also reduces all expenses related to travel.
Improves Attendance Capabilities
Another benefit that is connected to traveling and distant locations is attendance. Many companies nowadays allow home-office days, work with clients from distant cities or countries and so on. With all these factors at hand, it is often impossible to get all personnel to attend a physical meeting at the same time.
Through the utilization of video conferencing, you can conduct meetings at suitable hours for all participating individuals or even separately inform people that otherwise cannot attend at the given hour. All it takes is an internet connection and a few clicks.
Improves Engagement within Communication
Let’s take audio conferencing as an example. Most of us should have some experience with it especially with what is going on around the world. It is quite hard to stay focused and give your entire attention to the actual call. People often multitask during such “meetings” which is not always beneficial for the end result.
If you want to add a layer of pressure for the focus to your employees or any individual that is part of the virtual meeting, we recommend video conferencing instead of plain audio. The necessity to maintain eye contact, albeit virtual, results in a higher level of engagement that closely resembles physical conversation.
It might sound like a dirty move but you want each participant to actively participate in the meeting and to take as much beneficial information.
Boosts Productivity & Time-efficiency
The most common means of communication within businesses or overall is emailing. It has been around for decades now and it will not stop even with the constant technological advancement.
Email communication, however, is often terribly slow. It does not matter who is on the other side of the screen, you cannot always rely on them to be quick with their response. We all have had negative experiences with emailing when we need something urgently and the person on the other side is inactive.
Instead of taking the time to write an email and then wait for a response, you can simply conduct a quick video conference call and get the work done in seconds. It is even more reliable than a regular phone call or any audio conference method since you have the opportunity to present visual information. You can always project charts and spreadsheets, for example, which are required for the meeting instead of expecting everyone to see them by themselves.
Reduces the response time to market changes
Video conferencing allows for a quick response to any change in the business environment. In addition, it is well known that companies that understand the relationship between profitability and response time to market changes achieve remarkable financial results.
The first months of offering many goods and services are often the most profitable in their life cycle, especially when it comes to high-tech goods and services.
Improves the quality of life of employees
Many studies have focused on the impact of business travel on employees and their families. One such survey found that 73% of respondents identified business trips as a source of stress. Another study conducted by the World Bank shows that employees who travel frequently on business trips benefit more from corporate health insurance than others.
By introducing video conferencing, you can reduce the need of traveling for small problems and work needs which will ultimately improve the quality of life of your employees. Not to mention how much more balanced their daily life could become. Many people change jobs because they are left with no time for themselves and their families.
Types of video conferencing solutions
Existing video conferencing solutions can be broadly classified into two groups: software and hardware – both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Video conferencing software solutions require a personal computer, laptop, or mobile device with a webcam, microphone, and headset included. Their main advantages are the minimum initial investment – possibly for a camera, microphone, and headphones. The software itself is either free (for example Skype, etc.) or at a low price.
However, software solutions do not provide very high-quality video and lack many useful features – for example, the ability to simultaneously display the speaker’s face and slides of his presentation, etc.
Video conferencing hardware solutions are systems that require specialized equipment – primarily a codec and server. They are significantly more expensive than software and require a company specializing in such projects to implement, but they provide high-quality images (including HD), support the inclusion of various external video sources, and ensure stable operation and a number of other advantages.
Which one to choose?
The markets for video conferencing software and hardware solutions have different audiences. Software solutions are inexpensive, but have a number of limitations – they do not allow additional cameras to be included and the image to be displayed on several screens, they do not integrate well with the sound systems, so there is an echo, etc. You can hardly offer such a solution to top managers or for holding a group conference.
However, video conferencing software systems are suitable for initial test operations within the company and are able to assist in effective interaction between workgroups. Currently, companies with distributed infrastructure, government agencies, medicine, and education most actively use such solutions.
On the other side, hardware solutions are already widely used as an adequate alternative to business trips, meetings of top managers, training, seminars, etc.