Meetings at work can be a drag. You have to organise them, set them up, corral all your colleagues together in one room, and then spend time going over everything while they nod off into their coffees. After all that, you can't help but think about all that time you've spent, which you could have used to actually get things done.
Enter video conferencing. It essentially creates a virtual boardroom, letting you gather everybody together online and get to business quickly and efficiently without ever having to leave your desk. Blue Jeans have announced that they're expanding their network, so if you've ever wanted to try the technology out for yourself, now is the time. Why should you, though? Here are nine reasons why.
1. It saves money
Music to the ears of any business, right? If you're paying out to send people all over the country, or indeed the world, in order to attend meetings, the costs stack up quickly. These include travel fees, overnight hotel stays, meal allowances, and many other extras. These aren't cheap, so why pay them if you don't have to?
Video conferencing only requires that you buy the software – after that, the only thing you'll be paying out for is your internet connection.
2. It reduces travel time
Speaking of travelling, how much time have you lost making your way to various meetings? No doubt you've thought about just how you could have put that time to better use. By avoiding travelling and using video conferencing instead, you save all that time in an instant. Attend the meeting, say your goodbyes, then get right back to work.
3. Meetings can be spontaneous
Physical meetings require you to stick to a strict schedule, arranging and setting up a specific time and place to meet. What if you're working on a project, though, and you have a quick question that needs answering? Or there's a problem that needs solving? Using a video call, you can contact everyone you need quickly, work out the problem, and get right back to it.
4. Allows you to stay in touch globally
Many businesses trade globally, with branches dotted over several different continents. Search Unified Communications says that video conferencing allows you meet with colleagues who you would normally get to see face to face, due to the distance between them. It's a fantastic way of developing relationships between branches, and making sure everybody is on the same page regardless of location.
5. Makes meetings more efficient
Picture Phone says that 'a picture is worth a thousand words' when it comes to meetings. A phone call may do the job sometimes, but what if you need to show something to your colleague when you're looking to solve a problem? Video calling means that you save a lot of time and effort when you're collaborating together.
6. Can allow you to work from home
For many people, telecommuting may be the best method of getting to work. Video conferencing can keep them in the loop right from their home office, without losing out on any news from the office. Inc says that video conferencing works best when everybody is able to access the software, and home workers are just one of example of who the technology could benefit.
7. Helps address your work-life balance
Constant travelling can certainly take a toll on people attending meetings. It's tiring and time consuming, and can lead to burnout if you don't take a break from the grind every now and then. Even if it doesn't, you're not at your best in a meeting if you're worn out from getting there.
Video conferencing eliminates the problem, as you can attend the meeting from wherever you are. It's more efficient too, so you spend less time in the meetings and more time on what's important.
8. It's more personable
If you want to get to know your fellow meeting attendees better, use video conferencing. As you can all see each other, everyone pays closer attention to the meeting. Also, you can watch everyone's facial expressions and non-verbal cues, which means you can communicate much more effectively. It really is almost as good as meeting up face to face.
9. It's easy to use
If you're worried about having to deal with lots of unfamiliar technology, don't be. Video conferencing is as easy as opening up the program and hitting 'call'. It's just like using any other program on your computer, and within a few minutes you'll be conferencing just like a pro.
There are lots of reasons to try out video conferencing, but they all boil down to one: it's the future of the boardroom.
In an increasingly global and technologically savvy society, it's the easiest and quickest way of communicating with almost anyone around the world.