Video conferencing is a major part of doing business in the 21st century. It facilitates fully visual communication with clients and colleagues anywhere and anytime. Moreover, a video conference can save money and reduce environmental in some surprising (but significant) ways. And with all the benefits, you could stand to lose your competitive edge as more and more businesses adopt video conferencing as their go-to mode of communication.
Read the full guide for an in-depth look at how video conferencing benefits your business.
Video conferencing has been limited by high costs and network latency. Yet, tech-savvy employees demand the latest tools to support professional efficiency. Companies implementing this new tech quickly experience the benefits of video conferencing.
Initially, video conferencing was used simply to reduce travel costs. Now, the benefits of video conferencing are far-reaching. Working together has never been easier. Greater knowledge of the benefits of collaboration is fueling the growth of video conferencing. The promise of video conferencing is to have:
- Improved communication
- Better business relationships
- Greater meetings
- Employee satisfaction
- Improved competitive edge
The benefits of video conferencing all revolve around one key point: We move faster towards our goals when we can see and interact with the people we’re working with.
Growing Demand for Video Conferencing
Today, the growing demand for video conferencing is making it broadly available. It’s critical to many companies’ collaboration strategies. Video conferencing systems run the gamut from basic desktops housed in huddle rooms to sophisticated telepresence suites. Thanks to more reliable tech and lower prices, video conferencing is becoming a core enterprise collaboration tool.
A steady stream of new tech has hugely improved usability. In 2015, 95% of users in one survey said video conferencing has reliability improved. 92% said it was also easier to use. Along with greater reliability, the total cost of ownership is dropping.
Benefits of Video Conferencing
Cost/demand trends and ease of use are placing the benefits of video conferencing within reach of more businesses. What we know about collaboration has influenced the rise of video conferencing. Sure, employees have always talked to one another. What we now know is that collaborative, team-focused work environments deliver incredible business advantages. Among the many research-demonstrated benefits, video collaboration has been shown to:
- Move a company more effectively towards its goals
- Foster creativity and learning
- Blend complementary skills, strengths, and perspectives
- Build trust; encourage equal participation
- Develop a strong sense of purpose
- Enhance employee development
- Teach conflict resolution skills
- Promote a wider sense of ownership
- Encourage partnership/joint efforts
- Deliver faster problem solving and increased innovation
- Create an efficient pace of work (the “divide and conquer” principle)
- Improve job satisfaction and employee retention
Analysts say increased demand for video conferencing has two additional factors. Remote employees and Millennials. These workers thrive when provided with feature-rich, easy-to-use tools. Because of this, VC deployments and usage have grown massively.
Between 2013 and 2015, VC use grew by 87%. Of the companies surveyed, 71% added more VC rooms during those two years. Predictions call for a conferencing services market growth rate of 4.1% between 2014 and 2021. This puts the market in a phase of rapid and ongoing transition.8
Top Benefits of Videoconferencing
Reducing travel is considered VC’s main advantage. However, the benefits of video conferencing are much more far-reaching. In fact, the least tangible benefits of VC make the biggest impact. One big benefit of video conferencing is it reduces the amount of time wasted in meetings. In a survey of 4,700 users, the top benefits of video conferencing were cited as9:
- Increased efficiency and productivity – 94%
- Increased impact of discussions – 88%
- Expedited decision-making – 87%
- Reduced travel – 87%
Below, are some of the main reasons companies are using video conferencing more than ever before:
Travel costs add up quickly. Hold a video call and you eliminate costs for employee transportation, hotels, and meals. Customer entertainment expenses disappear. VC is far less costly.
Bottom line cost benefits of video conferencing: Reducing travel costs for just one employee far outweighs the expense of a VC system that can be used by the entire company.
Improved Productivity and Optimized Operations
Yes, you can be in two places at once. Several, actually. And it’s all thanks to VC. The implications for productivity are huge.11 Reduced travel requirements help key employees maximize their time. Holding video calls with customers and partners around the world boosts productivity.
Video calls reduce the misunderstandings that come from email and phone calls. With video conferencing, facial expression and body language deliver a more complete message. VC participants are also more likely to speak up and clarify information. Finally, video conferencing participants are more likely to stay alert and focused when viewed by coworkers.
Bottom line productivity benefits of video conferencing: VC maximizes your human resources. It increases efficiency and productivity. Projects can be completed faster and participants feel more in sync with each other and the meeting objectives.
Visual cues bring a level of efficiency not possible with audio calls. Because of this, participants get a lot more done via video conference. Display mockups. Demo products. Impress potential customers. Proponents admit it’s even more efficient than face-to-face meetings. When everyone’s in the same room, discussions can easily get off track.
With VC, tight time constraints and remote call-ins can facilitate a more focused discussion with less side chatter. Plus, when participants can be seen by colleagues, focus and contribution are higher. With sight-unseen phone calls, participants give in to the temptation of their smartphone or laptop.
Bottom line efficiency benefits of video conferencing: Seeing one another boosts efficiency. More interaction. Less distraction.
Have something you need to communicate right away? Convene a video conference. With VC there’s no need to get all the key players in one place. Demo the latest product design. Deliver critical info. Set goals, quotas, deadlines or strategic changes. All with the added visual impact that’s missing from a phone conference.
Bottom line outreach benefits of video conferencing: VC lets you get critical info to key personnel with added impact.
Increased Employee Satisfaction and its Benefits
Happy, healthy employees are productive employees. VC helps with both. Frequent travel takes a physical and emotional toll. Replacing with video calls results in greater health and job satisfaction. In turn, this boosts performance and productivity. Also helps reduce job turnover.
Telecommuting is on the rise. Working remotely translates into employee satisfaction. VC supports work-life balance. In 2015, 44% of business professionals had telecommuted at some point.13 Between 2005 – 2016, work-at-home time increased by 103%. Research shows telecommuters are just as productive as in-office employees. Workers with the option to work remotely are happier, healthier and more efficient.
Bottom line employee benefits of video conferencing: Employees who travel less and VC more are healthier, happier, and more productive. Office flexibility also brings significant cost savings. One study reported an annual savings of $11,000 per person per year when workers could work from home 50% of the time.
Improved Communication & More Solid Relationships
Human communication is complex. Body language. Tone of voice. At times, the spoken word only accounts for 7% of meaning interpretation. Phone calls reveal tone, but leave out body language and facial expression. This is often critical for full understanding.
Visual communication generates effective collaboration. Personal understanding and connection, key to successful working relationships, develop during video conferencing. As noted in the Harvard Business Review, this connection “promotes a group loyalty that results in a shared commitment to and discipline toward the work.” Having a sense of camaraderie, of really getting to know our coworkers “create[s] a common sense of purpose and the mentality that we are in-it together.”19
Video conferencing builds relationships, trust and camaraderie among employees. Executives can hold meetings in real-time with global offices. Teams feel more connected to the home office. Project managers see and interact with those they may never have the chance to meet in person. Suppliers deliver informative, visually impactful pitches. The possibilities for building more successful and lasting business relationships are virtually endless.
Bottom line communication/relationship benefits of video conferencing: VC brings every aspect of communication to the table, for more effective conversations and better working relationships.
Support for Green Initiatives
Business traveling takes a toll on the environment in many ways. Video conferencing is an energy-smart, economically viable way to attend or sponsor meetings. It’s environmentally friendly, too.
Reduced business travel helps with:
- Energy consumption – Flying, driving, and hotel stays use a great deal of energy, which generates smog-producing air pollutants and carbon dioxide that contributes to climate change.
- Waste production – In-person meetings create lots of waste. Among the landfill hazards: paper, printer ink, toner, plastic water bottles, and non-recyclable refreshment containers.
- Food waste – Conference organizers typically order much more than can be consumed by the attendees. Leftover meals, snacks, and cocktail hour goodies typically end up in the trash rather than a food bank.
Replacing travel with conferencing has a deep environmental impact. It also makes economic sense. One study determined businesses with $1 billion or more in annual revenue adding VC achieve ROI in as little as 15 months. Nearly 900 business trips would be eliminated in the first year. The environmental impact? A reduction of 2,271 metric tons of pollution over five years. That’s the greenhouse gas equivalent of removing 434 passenger vehicles from the road.
Bottom line environmental benefits of video conferencing: They’re huge. Replacing business travel with VC reduces landfill-bound waste, pollutants, and greenhouse gasses.
Each of the benefits listed above sharpens companies’ competitive edge. Teams that communicate via VC share knowledge faster and more efficiently. This reduces time to market. Support departments establish personal customer relationships. Manufacturers can cut time and improve quality via videoconferenced meetings. They can verify quality, propose changes, and ensure accuracy throughout the product lifecycle.
Bottom line competitive benefits of video conferencing: Leveraging VC allows companies to be more efficient. Better meetings are generated. Creativity abounds. Product cycles are thought out.
Adding Value To Videoconferencing
The range of options for implementing VC has never been greater. Price points range from entry-level to extravagant. The benefits of video conferencing are available to companies large and small. Options span hardware-based systems, software suites, and virtualized systems. Prices have dropped significantly from just a few years ago. Standard room-based systems range from $2,000 – $20,000. Cloud-based services can be as low as $30 per month.
Industry analyst Andrew Davis of Wainhouse Research says:
The capabilities you get with an entry-point system exceed what you could have received with a high-end system just a few years ago. People are trying to figure out what their infrastructure should be: Should they buy it and put it on premises, or should they go with a cloud service? I suspect that many companies, especially large companies, will go with a hybrid environment.23
See: Simplicity in the New World of Video Conferencing: Three Key Considerations for Pervasive Video Deployment. The key point: seek simplicity throughout the solution lifecycle. VC systems are simple and easy to use. Look for systems and partners that deliver ease of use. The ability for IT to monitor the VC environment helps with any problems managing the system.
Displays To Support VC Success
ViewSonic offers a range of displays to support companies seeking to leverage the benefits of video conferencing. Content sharing options are designed to deliver simplified meeting collaboration.
High Visibility Displays
Conference rooms call for large screens. One large format display is the minimum, two or more is the trend. Interactivity on at least one display in the room has become the norm. Offering the ability to annotate and save presentation material helps even more. Content sharing tools enable easy group collaboration. ViewSonic large format displays come in sizes from 32″ to 98,” and deliver commercial-grade reliability.
Crystal clear images ensure video conferencing visibility in any environment. Displays with ultra-thin bezels and simplified daisy-chaining enable easy setup of tiled video walls for even greater visual impact and versatility. To add value to video conferencing services, look for displays that come with interactivity.
Interactive Displays with Embedded Annotation Software
ViewBoards are large-format interactive displays designed to amp up collaborative capability. Meetings become more engaging with the ability for multiple users to write or draw on the display. Embedded annotation software makes it easy to write, highlight, edit, and transform documents and images on-screen in real-time.
Enhance content by easily importing virtually any type of document or media file. Highlight onscreen and annotate directly onto the integrated web browser. Save all screen content –including notes and edits – and record live during meetings to save and share the experience. All on-screen annotations, macros, media files, and ambient audio are saved using the ViewSonic-exclusive record function.
Content Sharing with Intel Unite
To make content sharing even easier, ViewSonic has partnered with Intel Unite®. The ViewSonic® ViewBoard® Interactive Flat Panel Display is the first-ever interactive whiteboard solution to be Intel Unite® certified, transforming meeting rooms into smart, secure and connected spaces. When a ViewBoard is embedded with Intel Unite, communication and content sharing is made easy.
Intel Unite can be embedded into ViewBoard via slot-in PCs like VPC12-WPO and VPC10-WP-2. With Intel Unite, you can manage your room’s VC from one single point of access. Collaboration is made easy by allowing users to connect and interact with meeting content in real-time, from any location where they have a corporate network connection.
Together, Intel Unite and ViewSonic offer enhanced visual collaboration. MyViewBoard.com adds secure, unified communication. Wirelessly share your screen with coworkers. Check out the Executive Brief for more info on how Intel and ViewSonic build team engagement with Interactive Whiteboards. It contains info on how digital collaboration works.
All-in-one VC displays
ViewSonic displays with integrated webcam, dual speakers, and USB multimedia ports, deliver an immediate, all-in-one video conferencing solution. Large Format Displays come in a wide range of sizes to fit your conference room. ViewBoard® Cast is an easy content sharing app used to share content across multiple user screens.
Reaping the Benefits of Videoconferencing
Video conferencing as a communication tool is growing at a record rate. Businesses seek to reap the demonstrated benefits of added collaboration. Those that implement VC quickly experience the many benefits of videoconferencing.
Quantifiable benefits include reduced travel expenses and increased productivity. Even more impactful benefits of video conferencing include improved communication and better business relationships. Greater meeting efficiency and enhanced employee satisfaction. Reduced environmental impact. Improved competitive edge.
Video conferencing systems can run the gamut from basic desktop setups housed in huddle rooms to sophisticated telepresence suites. ViewSonic supports VC collaboration success with commercial-quality large-screen displays, interactive displays with embedded annotation software, content sharing tools, and all-in-one touch display solutions.