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Video conferencing is increasingly useful in the modern world. Many businesses have remote employees who may even live abroad. A video conference may be the only time they communicate face to face with their boss and colleagues. Globalization allows businesses to hire employees with expertise to which they would not usually have access, but it does mean that we have to utilize technology more and more often. With video conferencing, the restrictions of having to get everyone together in one place are overcome.
Employees also enjoy the benefits from video conferencing and the ability to work remotely. It increases flexibility, allowing people to juggle their time and multiple commitments.
Video conferencing has benefits for both workers and employers, saving everyone time and energy. The obvious impacts of COVID-19 have massively boosted the amount of employers and employees using video conferencing, but it’s been popular for years, and is going to remain part of our lives even once the impacts of the pandemic start to fade. So, what are the benefits of getting on board with it?
Allowing employees to work from home cuts traffic congestion and wasted journey time, making employees more efficient and our planet greener. It also reduces fuel usage and expenditures. Fewer cars on the roads improves life for everyone, and means that employees who do need to come in to work are less likely to get delayed in traffic. This is particularly important in big cities.
“There is an even bigger environmental saving if multinational companies can use video conferencing to prevent employees from having to fly, as this has a huge environmental cost,” says Diana Michels, a writer at OXEssays and State Of Writing.
Even though workplaces are making efforts to create accessible spaces for everyone, there are still many entry barriers which certain applicants face. Video conferencing is not a blanket solution, but it helps to mitigate or solve a few of the problems which can make it hard for certain demographics of people to work.
In today’s world, unfortunate as it is, women still tend to be the primary caregivers. This makes it harder for women to work traditional office hours, as they often have to collect children from school, etc.
Video conferencing can make it easier for women to juggle their other commitments, because it allows them to work from home or alter their hours to fit in with childcare restrictions. It also means that if a child is ill and the mother needs to stay at home, they can still touch base with people in the office.
“Disabled people can also benefit a lot from the flexibility that video conferencing offers,” explains Samantha Nilson, a tech journalist at Lia Help and Paper Fellows. “One of the most obvious benefits is that remote working makes it easier for those who don’t drive and might struggle with public transport. People who suffer from social anxiety might also find that video conferencing is less daunting.”
Emails are a very useful tool, but they have certain significant limitations, especially in conversations with more than one participant. Video conferencing allows people to really exchange ideas and adapt them based on feedback from their colleagues. Video permits input from multiple parties at once, making it ideal for brainstorming as well as giving feedback.
It’s also significantly more personal than any kind of instant messaging, or even audio messaging. This is great for promoting teamwork, especially if all employees are based in different locations and might otherwise end up in a “solo” mindset. Seeing each other face to face can remind people of the importance of working in teams, so if heading into the office isn’t practical, video conferencing is ideal.
Most video conference software also allows for recording, meaning employees can make a record of important conversations and refer back to them whenever they need.
Most video conferencing software has been designed with business needs in mind. That means that the software producers have built in a lot of handy features to maximize the efficiency and usefulness of their product.
Employees will be able to take advantage of features such as work calendar integration and scheduled meeting reminders. Having documents which all employees can access uploaded to video software is another great way to keep everyone on the same page.
Being face to face with colleagues also encourages employees to be organized and more engaged than they might be for a phone call, and means that everyone is focused on the same project at the same time, rather than working on different projects and ideas as they might do with emails. This improves efficiency and ensures real-time responses to issues as they arise.
How much time do employees spend commuting? Obviously, that varies considerably, but even if your employees have extremely short commutes, they’re going to be spending 15-30 minutes every day traveling. That’s a huge chunk of time over the course of a week, month, year — and it can definitely be put to better use than sitting in a car in a traffic jam.
Video conferencing lets your employees do their jobs from home, cutting out all that travel time. It means your employees are more likely to be happy because they aren’t dealing with stress at the start and finish of every work day.
Remote working also massively increases flexibility for employees; it lets them work when they need to. Night owls, early birds — no matter what schedule — your employees will be better able to work when it suits them, and only having to “attend” work at a specific time to check in with the other employees enables this sort of routine.
All in all, video conferencing offers a lot of benefits for corporations and employees, and no matter what type of business you run, you can probably benefit from it. It’s generally low cost or even free, and will save your employees fuel, money and time, providing a win-win situation for everyone. Video conferencing is undoubtedly going to be a huge part of our future working environments, so getting it integrated into your company now is a great way to get ahead. I&FMM