The point of using videoconferencing as business tool is that in business, it’s usually better to be seen. Of course, some of the key benefits of videoconferencing are immediately visible with the naked eye. By enabling face-to-face communications, with screen sharing and plenty of human interaction, it’s easy to see the scenarios where video meetings and calls will make for a more responsive, effective communication strategy than say email, chat, or telephone.
But there are often hidden or “unseen” benefits from using videoconferencing that surprises people who haven't really experienced videoconferencing at work before. We’ve put together a quick list of three benefits people don’t always realize about videoconferencing so you get the full picture of how it can positively impact your organization:
1) Facilitate a better transfer of knowledge between the different parts of your organization
Knowledge can be transferred in any number of ways inside a company, and there are loads of business communication tools to help do this. But the level of complexity and urgency around a piece of knowledge can mean some channels are less effective than others. For example, say your engineering team needs to help the production unit resolve a time-critical issue and they’re based in different locations; they could use a mixture of emails and telephone calls to describe the support they want to give. With cloud videoconferencing, your teams can simply arrange a video meeting in a few moments and share their knowledge face-to-face, with the problem, solution, and explanation all visible in real-time, in front of everyone.
Also, when physical location might normally exclude a colleague participating in viewing a live presentation or joining a workshop, it’s really simple for them to join in with the rest of team who are actually in the room. And with cloud videoconferencing it’s now possible to utilize streaming and recording workflows to record anything from HR seminars to workshops or sales meetings, to record and easily share knowledge across your organization.
2) A more honest work culture can develop
When you’re watching a presentation, or dialing into an audioconference, you’re aware that people can’t see you. It’s human nature to sometimes to lose focus as a passive listener at a seminar or presentation. But there’s no hiding that you’re distractedand not listening in a video meeting - there’s something about the knowledge you’re on camera that keeps people more attentive than if they were unseen.
But more importantly, videoconferencing helps to build a culture of honesty and openness in two really effective ways. Firstly, you can build better, more trusting relationships with people face-to-face than just by email or telephone. You can really get to know people you speak to on video regularly, even if you’ve never actually met them in person. Secondly, it tells anybody who your business communicates with that you have nothing to hide, that you value your business relationships and letting people see inside your organization.
3) Break the cycle and help people spend less time in meetings
Yes videoconferencing helps facilitate meetings. On video. So why exactly does that equate less time in meetings? Bare with us here. Physical, face-to-face eetings are ingrained in our office culture, we need meetings to get stuff done. However, because they need to be arranged, and people’s calendars need to be factored into the planning process, we schedule long meetings to make sure we fit everything in. We make the most of the opportunity of having everyone in the room at the same time. We cram in all the face-to-face communication around all the faceless emails and messages we've been going back and forth with, to get answers and decisions, because we struggle to do it via email. But long meetings are boring and attention spans waiver. In-person, we tend to drag out meetings longer than necessary, and they begin to lose their effectiveness, ceasing to be as productive as we intended. We ruin the golden opportunity of face-to-face-interaction by getting caught up
With videoconferencing, it’s really simple to arrange a quick meeting at the drop of a hat and collect everybody together,without making sure they can all be in the same room at a particular time. It’s easier to have more frequent meetings, with the key being that these meetings can be lean, mean productivity machines. Since you know you can easily catch people on video for a short conversation as you need, there’s less pressure to indulge in long, drawn out meetings that achieve their end-goal of organizing another meeting. Not only that, but with videoconferencing it’s easy to call people right now, in place of email or chat, to get clarification.
If your team has already gotten fast answers or decisions whilst sharing a document or file on screen in a series of short face-to-face conversations rather than waiting on an email thread to confirm the agenda for the next meeting, it's easier to maintain streamlined dialogues, instead getting bogged down in meetings where everything must be discussed. Your communications can stay agile and light, with a little and often approach that helps keep the conversation moving forward, rather going around in circles.