Face-to-face communication can produce a greater return on investment, build stronger relationships and make conversations clearer. It's more natural and often makes things easier. Although, video technology solutions are becoming increasingly beneficial to achieve these goals as well.
When you meet with a couple of office mates, you generally don't pick up the phone and call them. You likely walk over and meet face to face. It's just easier that way.
Once you all meet, everyone can ask each other how they’re doing. You can see who's stressed out and who’s ready for the meeting. You can easily present your ideas in front of each other.
You might think to yourself, why don't remote meetings go this smoothly?
Figuring out how to share content is always a must and often a challenge. If you're meeting remotely with others over the phone, what's the best way to see their presentation? Is that even the best way to do a presentation?
In some situations, it might be your only option so it's important that things go well on the first run, because you could only have minutes or even seconds to get your point across.
But even if everything does go according to plan, you're still missing out on key communication aspects. For example, body language isn't as easy to read over the phone. And it's often misread through email or text.
Some of the most profound benefits of face-to-face communication are building relationships and presenting ideas clearly and correctly. For professionals meeting with prospective clients or partners, it can make all the difference. However, it's not always feasible to meet in person.
Travel costs can be through the roof, and for all the time it takes to get from point A to point B, calling is simply easier. But, face-to-face interactions often produce a greater return on investment.
To reconcile the benefits of face-to-face communication and the need for reduced travel time, video conferencing is growing in popularity.
Polycom reported that "96 percent of business managers and leaders say video conferencing helps companies defy distance and break down cultural barriers to improve productivity."
That statistic came from the “Global View: Business Video Conferencing Usage and Trends” survey that took responses from over 1,200 business leaders. Over half of those leaders said video conferencing would be their most preferred method of communication in 2016 and for good reason.
The Benefits of Video Conferencing
As more people work remotely, it becomes increasingly difficult to hold in-person meetings. However, adding video capabilities to huddle spaces makes small virtual meetings almost as easy as impromptu meetings.
Participants can make eye contact, see body language and use visual cues to make their points.
Some other benefits are:
- Lower travel costs. Most video conferencing investments pale in comparison to the cost of flying employees and clients to and from meetings. This also cuts into productivity, given the amount of time spent traveling.
- Clearer communication. With high-quality equipment, everyone can hear and see what’s being shared. Eye contact and body language reinforce what’s being said, helping you hold more productive meetings.
- Relationship building. Better communication also helps build and maintain relationships with everybody from prospective clients or employees to long-existing partners.
- Convenience. The ability to meet at the spur of the moment by simply turning on your equipment removes many barriers, especially when some participants are local and some are remote. It’s also usually easier to find a huddle space than a traditional meeting room.
Despite these benefits, less than 5 percent of the 30 million huddle rooms worldwide are video enabled. However, that's thought to change by 2020.
According to Frost & Sullivan Research, “The total market for video conferencing endpoints and infrastructure is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.5 percent from 2015 to 2020 to reach $2.9 billion by 2020.”
It's clear that the demand for video is growing. The research shows that in coming years more areas within workplaces will feature video conferencing capabilities. As more professionals who are comfortable with this kind of technology enter the workforce, video conferencing and virtual meetings are expected to increase substantially.
How to Make Small Changes with Big Results
If you're not sure where to start, you're not alone.
You can choose any combination of displays, cameras and mics to create your team’s ideal huddle space experience. But there are so many options available and making those decisions can be difficult.
The right video conferencing solutions in huddle spaces will give you all the benefits of in-person meetings, also allowing for flexibility and easy setup.
We compiled a tech guide to help businesses and organizations learn more about selecting the right technology for their huddle rooms. This is meant to help guide buying decisions in the right direction, making sure both budgets and needs are met.