Increasing internal collaboration in “remote companies” through video conferencing

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Video conferencing is a digital tool unlike any other. It can provide a means with which a business can communicate with its partners, employees, and clients across the globe. It is further proof of how globalization is continuing to bring humanity together regardless of distance and society. This has allowed collaboration and communication between private citizens and corporations around the world in a highly affordable package. With the prevalence of Internet connectivity and the rise of remote companies, the interconnectedness of nations and people continues to grow and expand. It has never been easier than it is today for someone in North America to talk with someone else in Japan or Australia. With video conferencing providing the means to easily meet and discuss with other people and businesses half a world away, it can be easy to overlook what video conferencing can do within a business. Video conferencing can provide financial benefits in the form of drastically decreasing travel expenses, but it can also foster greater productivity and collaboration within a company’s different departments. While this sort of interdepartmental collaboration only applies to businesses large enough for have multiple departments, the internal benefits of video conferencing can still be drastic to a small business or nonprofit as well.

Time Equals Money

Yes, the age old adage of time equals money is as clichéd as it gets, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Every minute a worker isn’t actively working on a project or discussing some point with management is productivity lost. And lost productivity means tasks are completed slower and less efficiently, which can eventually lead to reduced profits. While a single employee slacking for five minutes isn’t a big deal, over a large business with hundreds of employees, every minute each worker wastes adds up. Holding meetings among department heads before video conferencing meant one of two things happened: everyone would join a conference call (which invariably means the loss of some communication through non-verbal actions being missed) or each party would travel to a pre-determined conference room somewhere in the building. Using a video conferencing solution like the one offered by Blue Jeans Network would eliminate the need for everyone to waste time traveling to a conference room. All they would need to do is start up their conference program and join the meeting; according to Street Directory, this ease of use would allow meetings to be held on an even more consistent, scheduled basis with all participants comfortably in their offices, ready to begin work as soon as the meeting ends. With video conferencing, it becomes incredibly easy for both management and employees to contact one another and discuss, face-to-face, whatever project or issue that comes up. Every minute an employee saves by using video conferencing means your business is that much more productive and profitable.

Retention and Ease of Use

Sometimes an employee goes through a difficult time in their life and must relocate or needs to stay home. They may wish to continue working, but because of their circumstances, they are unable to. Such an event can be a blow to your business’s productivity, but through video conferencing these issues can be nullified. According to Lunar Pages, it doesn’t matter what the particular situation is, whether it’s relocation, constant travel, or something else; video conferencing can allow the employee to keep up with the day-to-day business of the company regardless of where they are geographically. Allowing employees to continue to work regardless of where they are not only keeps a competent, knowledgeable worker producing for your business, it also saves on the effort of finding a replacement and training them. With video conferencing solutions like Blue Jeans Network that are easy to use, it can help connect disparate branches and departments that are geographically stationed far away from the main business headquarters. According to Mashable, in the past, branch heads and team heads located far afield would have had to wait for a quarterly get-together to plan out the next few months of work, but with video conferencing, they can communicate amongst each other and with headquarters whenever they wish so decisions can be made in real time, when they can have the greatest impact.

Improves Relationships

Email, text, and phone calls are all viable means of communication, but they lack a critical component humans need to assist in understanding each other: body language and facial expression :) Video conferencing solves this issue completely; not only does video conferencing allow better understanding and reduce miscommunication, it also allows a more fluid, natural means of communication amongst the parties involved. When writing an email or even talking on the phone, a person can hide a lot of what they mean or how they feel about an issue, while talking through a video conference means a participant’s tone and facial expression can communicate their meaning more clearly. According to Social Barrel, video conferencing doesn’t have to be used just for meetings, but as a way for team members to brainstorm and get to know one another, regardless of their distance from one another. One last thing I would suggest is to always use secure channels though. That’s about it. Let me know what tricks do you have when it comes to remote team work.

header image courtesy of we work remotely

Catalin is the founder of Mostash – a social marketing boutique – and he’s always happy to share his passion for graphic design & social media.