By Daniel Creigh, Head of UK & Ireland, Zoom Video Communications
Extreme weather events – ranging from the chill that gripped that nation earlier this year, to the chaos often caused on the road and rail network by extreme heat – isn’t the only reason for businesses to find ways of boosting productivity all year round. The promised economic recovery has been slow, so businesses should continue to seek smart investments that will further drive growth in order to make the future a little bit brighter for everyone.
To address the economic challenge, many organisations are moving towards an agile workplace to cut operational costs and increase employee wellbeing, by moving their staff to smaller, more cost-effective premises and encouraging hot-desking as well as remote or home working. To that end, we’re seeing a widening of the definition of a workspace; from huddle and co-working spaces to coffee shops, more places are being deemed acceptable places to work, as long as the job gets done effectively.
One way to support this new workplace dynamic, is to invest in technology. The latest video communications options, such as those offered by Zoom, boast the latest technological advances that can provide a significant return on investment in many areas. The two most important are cutting business travel expenses, which tend to eat up a sizeable portion of any company’s budget, and improving productivity by allowing for greater collaboration and productivity between employees, customers and suppliers, no matter where they are based.
While travel savings have been a recognisable benefit of video communications, here are four ways video conferencing increases collaborative productivity:
- Being Able to See Everyone Has a Positive Impact: Phone conferences that are not supplemented with video might cause some team members to become distracted. Video forces them to concentrate more since everyone is looking at each other.
- Less Travel Means Higher Productivity: Travel has become so stressful that significantly more time is lost now than ever before when employees have to fly or take long car or train trips to remote locations. Video communications allows everyone to stay put, and encourages a greater work-life balance.
- Higher Level of Training: Video communications allows a higher level of on-the-job training, which means employees can do their jobs better, more quickly, and will be inspired by new opportunities.
- Distinct Advantage Over Competitors: The more technology a company is able to leverage, the more of an advantage it will have over its competitors. Video conferences allow for effective communication, which will inspire employees to consistently want to do more to maintain that advantage. Products are developed and introduced to the market more quickly, problems are resolved faster and everyone needing to be involved in a decision can be without the need to travel or wait for an in-person meeting to take place.
When it comes to reducing costs, video communications often pays for itself in a matter of months due to the money companies save on travel and related expenses. Recent Frost & Sullivan research shows that when long distance travel is involved, business trips can be incredibly costly even when employees fly or drive to meetings. It doesn’t take many participants for the cost of a single in-person meeting to reach five figures; for every person who doesn’t have to drive or fly to attend, companies can save hundreds or even thousands of pounds.
But when forward-thinking companies make their ROI calculations around video communications, they also factor in the ‘softer’ benefits of the technology. If they don’t have to spend hours or days travelling to and from meetings, employees are more productive—they can use that travel time on doing actual work. And since video communications itself makes audio and Web meetings more effective, the technology improves the value of those other tools. Finally, video communications can strengthen virtual teams by helping remote employees integrate more easily into the group. That makes more meetings more productive, shortening cycle times and decision making for a host of business processes and interactions.
In an increasingly virtual workplace, with employees located around the world, advanced communications and collaboration technologies are changing the way people do business. The new tools can make employees more productive, cut costs, decrease cycle times and boost the bottom line. Multi-platform video communications has proven to be a huge advantage to virtual organisations, which can use the technology to leverage face-to-face communications between any and all employees without incurring the high travel costs and downtime that accompany in-person meetings. The result: higher productivity and a very attractive ROI, all year around, whatever the weather.