In the past, it was only the largest companies that could afford to invest in video conferencing, but the advent of new technology and software means it’s now available to everyone. Many people use Skype and FaceTime on a personal level, but when it comes to business meetings, using purpose-built video conferencing equipment is a much better idea. Installing a dedicated system ensures sound and picture quality are good enough to cope with people logging in from multiple locations, enabling them to communicate as easily as if they were all in the same room.
There are a number of advantages of video conferencing:
Saves time and money – face-to-face meetings can be costly in terms of the travelling time it takes your staff to get there and back, along with any hotel expenses if anyone needs to stay overnight, as well as other expenses. Video conferencing means everyone can join the meeting from the comfort of their own office, which not only allows them to save on travel expenses but also enables them to be more productive as they won’t need to be on the road as much.
Flexibility – most people have busy diaries, and while they can spare an hour for a meeting, they may not necessarily also have time to travel to and from it. By eliminating travelling, you are more likely to find a convenient time when all the parties are free sooner rather than later.
Enables remote workers to keep in touch – with more and more people choosing to work remotely, either from home or from coworking offices, video conferencing facilities will enable them to check in on a regular basis and be part of internal meetings, brainstorming sessions, etc. This will help them to stay connected to the rest of the team as well as make it easier to keep them informed about projects and clients and what’s going on in the office.
Improves communication – traditionally, companies have used conference calling instead of video conferencing for virtual meetings, but while phone calls are good, being able to see people’s body language, and therefore being able to ‘read the room’, is so much better. Video conferencing also enables you to share documents during your meetings.
Efficiency – face-to-face meetings are inevitably elongated by time spent catching up on personal news. While this is an important part of the networking process – and one of the main reasons why it’s a good idea to occasionally head out of the office to meet with clients – it does take up time. Like a phone call, a video conference typically involves less time for small talk, increasing the efficiency of the meeting.