Today’s workforces are increasingly mobile. According to Global Workforce Analytics, telework grew nearly 80% since 2005. Thanks to the growth of modern communications technology, writers, sales teams, designers, and accountants are able to organize and coordinate, regardless of location. Not only are they able to, but in the case of large corporations with interests spanning the globe, they must. And while technological growth has allowed employees and companies to communicate via a number of new-fangled methods, the basics often come down to text, one of the oldest technologies available to man. This seems a bit backwards, especially in an age where paradigmatic shifts in the way that society interacts with technology change more than once a decade. Video conferencing is an answer to this complaint. Using video conferencing technology, also known as VTC (for video teleconferencing), firms like CBS can effectively manage and direct their employees, as well as listen to input that would otherwise be inaccessible.
Issues with Text-Based Correspondence.
Instantaneous connection is an incredible part of many of today’s most common experiences. And although text is a great medium for interpreting news stories, handing out assignments, and official correspondence, the sort of creativity that businesses often look for when formulating and implementing a new strategy simply cannot take place within a text-driven environment. This is because text-based directives offer little natural accessibility. While information is conveyed, it is done in a highly abstract format, one that does not trigger any of our natural communicative frameworks. Humans are built for face-to-face communication. You can see it in human psyche, you can see it in the way humans emote, and you can see it when analyzing any interaction you’ve had in the past day. The vast majority of the information that’s gained in daily interactions is derived not from the words heard, but from the body language and facial cues that provide the context for conversations. Text-based Internet communication simply does not give the chance to decode and respond to any of those hints, thus cutting humans off from the valuable communication tools inherited from genetic ancestry. This creates a distance that makes employees less likely to voice opinions, forces responses to be guarded, and lowers the possibility for spontaneity. In addition, text is just harder to understand. Words often have at least two meanings, and without the clues given by personal cues, these meanings are often misconstrued. Because of the distance mentioned above, misunderstanding and confusion is often not completely disclosed. The ideal business plan does not include confusion or miscommunication.
Benefits of Video Conferencing.
That’s where video conferencing comes in. Video conferencing is as close as you can get to face-to-face interaction, while losing none of the speed of text communication. Video conferencing allows businesses to fully simulate a meeting room. This is valuable for several reasons. First of all, it allows for multiple levels of communication, from manager or leader to employees, from employees to manager, and employee to employee, in a fully public setting. Multiple walls caused by text-based methods come crashing down in these scenarios. This results in a relational ecosystem being created. In other words, instead of conducting a one-sided relay of information, ideas flow in all directions, growing as each participant contributes freely. In addition, if there is one-sided information that must be communicated effectively, video conferencing allows this to happen in a more direct and efficient manner than text-based communication. And, as the Globe and Mail points out, video conferencing saves a great deal of pollution caused by air travel. Those interested in reducing emissions should read more at the Scientific American and other publishers of new research.
Managers and employees now have access to the full arsenal of communication tools, including body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions. And even if many of these only make themselves known in slight ways, the effect on the group is easily seen. If an employee raises a question or a concern, everyone on the team can listen in at the same time, which cuts out plenty of wasted communication time. Blue Jeans video conferencing, among other providers, have taken it a step further and incorporated recording capabilities. This allows managers and employees to revisit the discussion at any time. Once equipped with this ability, there is little need for excessive note-taking, and participants can be more present in the conversation, creating more of an active and evolving discussion environment. Furthermore, the sessions can be used in training, presentations, and other uses, as corporate leaders see fit. All told, video conferencing technologies put more tools in the hands of business managers, employees, and the workforce as a whole. The best and most empowered workforce is one that can work as a cohesive whole, learn from itself, and grow with no wasted time. Video conferencing technology is a valuable resource in achieving those goals.