Face-to-face communication can prove costly especially when one travels long distances for the same. Now that the coronavirus outbreak has forced many companies to transition to remote working and encourage a large part of their workforce to function as a distributed team, teleconferencing usage has boomed up to 200 million daily active users in just 3 months.
With this, companies are seeking immersive technologies to communicate due to the increasing number of remote workers.
Why Should Organizations Invest in Better Video Conferencing Tools?
Unlike personal usage of video conferencing where a minor glitch may not cause breaking communication, for corporations that conduct their business virtually, it is a huge deal. It is especially important when one is directly communicating with a potential client. Corporates will look for more interactive teleconferencing tools which act quickly if any network issue arises or audio disconnects due to hardware failure, etc. The most important factor that helps determine if a video conferencing tool is good or bad is privacy. This is where most of the teleconferencing apps fail to meet the standards required by corporations.
Before we talk more about how video conferencing is becoming a major part of work collaboration, we should understand why video conferencing took decades to follow audio to become a major means of communication in personal and professional life.
Why Did It Take So Long to Bring Video Conferencing in the Workplace?
Are you a fan of Skype and Facetime? Well, for you it might seem nuts that previous generations hesitated to use video chats. Major telecom giant AT&T, one the most innovative organizations, spent millions of dollars to explore the audio side. Naturally, video calls seemed like a good next step.
AT&T’s debut video conferencing attempt was a Picturephone in 1964 with a touchscreen. This later proved to be a failure project for AT&T and marked the biggest innovative flop of the decade. Below is one of the models of Picturephone launched by AT&T.
This failure was majorly caused due to the high cost of the hardware, Picturephone users can only contact someone who has the same device and it wasn’t entirely clear if people wanted to be seen on a telephone. Ok, that is enough history, let’s jump to the present time.
Finally the Era of Video Chat
With decreasing hardware costs of equipment and call costs that have dropped from premium prices to prices lower than the cost of travel, corporates started using video chats more frequently. Also, it is much easier to set up and maintain a video conferencing tool for any IT/Support team. According to an Upwork 2019 survey “69% of managers are more likely to support remote teams”. This means they are looking for more reliable ways to communicate that can bridge the communication gap with the remote teams.
Video conferencing is finding its place in remote hirings which is a go-to option for many recruiters as it seems to save more time and avoid physical contact. Today, connectivity does not only mean the internet bandwidth but how well one can conduct a meeting irrespective of location. This is where good video conferencing software can shine.
Why Do Corporations Want to Build Remote Teams?
On a note that video conferencing has found its place in the workplace today, it brings many of its advantages and disadvantages. According to the Stanford Study, “with remote teams, productivity has increased”. Turns out work-from-home employees work a true full-shift versus being late to the office or leaving early multiple times a week.
Commute time is reduced if employees start working remotely, especially those who travel an average of 20 km daily for work. Employers do not have to invest in dedicated transportation lines for such employees hence saving costs.
Also, building a remote team will remove the geographical restrictions for anybody skilled enough to get the work done. With growing advancements in video conferencing, it is clear that distance will not matter to being someone to work in the organization today. Remote work is very soon going to become a new normal even for the new hires irrespective of the job location.
What Factors Still Stand in the Way?
Today, there are so many Video conferencing options freely available for use. Though, there are aspects where still video conferencing needs to gain market. One of the major ones is privacy. Do you wish to know why? Think for a bit, why are PCs bringing in locks on the webcam nowadays?
Other than privacy, the transmission quality is something any user would want. Image breaking and stuttering can make a bad video conferencing experience.
These are the two major roadblocks standing in the way of video conferencing technologies. As video conferencing technologies gain traction, overcoming these drawbacks and ensuring smooth connectivity between two parties is what all developers are aiming for.
Teleconferencing will see increasing gains in the market as this is becoming a go-to option for people to connect with others, whether it is personally or professionally.