11th Apr 2019

The Increase of Video Conferencing in the Workplace has it's Challenges. Are YOU Ready?

The Increase of Video Conferencing in the Workplace has it's Challenges.  Are YOU Ready?

If you weren’t already a video conferencing fan, then welcome to 21st-century communication. Video conferencing is currently undergoing some of the biggest changes of its life. Like ancient rituals where physically demanding tasks must be undertaken to earn the privileged to move from one group up to another, video conferencing is going through growing pains in the workplace. And, we all know growing pains can be good and problematic. Video conferencing is rising and becoming the new way we work.

Gone are the days when video conferences were reserved for the C-Level executives in boardrooms and executive conference rooms and required a dedicated IT staff to service the heavy footprint and expensive equipment. Now, video calling is simple enough to have at every workstation, meeting room and flex space. With that increased exposure and use comes the learning curve for those who’ve previously dealt with nothing more difficult and email. These problems, caused by the increase in video conferencing popularity, is the right problem to have as we continue to embrace 21st century communications. It’s a whole new world.

Behind the Numbers: The Increase in Video Conferencing

Video conferencing is seeing a boom that most didn’t predict. And, just how big that boom really is may just my surprise you. A recent study by Polycom found the following occurrences in the US alone:

  • 68% of companies surveyed made or received more video calls over the past two years.
  • More than 40% of companies make more than 2,000 video calls each month.
  • 62% of respondents have reported an increase in cloud-based video conferencing applications.
  • 76% use more than one video conferencing vendor.
  • More than 40% said it was important they could support live streams with up to 1,000 participants
  • More than half of all respondents are preparing to implement a unified video conferencing plan.

These statistics are in line with the growth that the video conferencing market is seeing. Further recent studies are showing that the video conferencing market is growing around 20% year over year. Today, over 86% of US based business report that video conferencing is part of their regular communications.

A 21st-Century Issue

The quick rise in video conferencing use has exposed a whole new portion of the workforce to what is still an evolving technology. As with all growth, there is a chance of misunderstandings without the proper training and explanation. One issue is the way people are using video calling, whether they are a novice or veteran. Video conferencing is now part of most laptops, desktops and daily workflows. The advent of collaboration tools, like Microsoft Teams, cater to every aspect of communications, from instant messaging to video calls.

The rise of huddle room video conferencing has been driven, in most part, by user-friendly and affordable video hardware and subscription-based software requiring almost no assistance from IT staff. This has made group communication more efficient, but does require a unified sort of approach, which can be challenging. This is a real resource saver for sure but can lead to a lack of training and a mismatched set of platforms and protocols, creating frustrations and leaving employees with poorly managed meetings and low video call quality. Rest assured, video conferencing the 21st-century way is going to make work easier in every possible way. It’ll just take some time to get used to a new way of working.

Best Ways to Handle Increased Video Conferencing Use

The secret sauce in successfully adopting any new workplace practice is communication. Employee training programs, that tell a common story across shared platforms, is the best start. Regardless of the department, purpose, or location an employee inhabits in your company, they should be able to communicate across the same platforms. Unnecessarily expanding the channels of communications is the quickest way to slow down communication.

Here are a few suggestions for how to handle new video conferencing solutions within your company:

Less is more with video vendors: There’s no need to have three or four video conferencing platforms as part of your communications implementation. That’s just asking for trouble. Most video calling platforms can’t connect across brand lines, so you’re effectively partitioning off a part of your workforce every time you introduce a new platform. Find the right vendor that meets your needs and implement company wide as the common source.

BYOD is great but be mindful: Bring-your-own-device workplaces are the trend as companies push some of the hardware cost back onto their employees, but that can come at a cost. As stated above, every platform runs its own set of protocols and some, such as iOS, won’t even share the same presentation stage without specialized equipment. Encouraging BYOD can enable employees to be faster and more efficient with their devices, but it also means making sure you have the right equipment to make that leap.

Know the differences between internal and external communications: Understand the special video calling needs for your teams that have the privilege of dealing directly with your customers and partners. While some of your teams can make do with chat window displays on their desktops, your customer-facing teams need to impress with their visuals. Don’t be afraid to furnish them with a unique high-quality 4K group video conferencing system, like the Lifesize Icon 700. There’s a point at which communication moves from function to form.

As with the rise of any new technology, you’re bound to go through some growing pains as you introduce video conferencing as the main source of communication in your office. But, don’t let that scare you. Video is quickly becoming one of the most important and efficient forms of communication in all industries and will only improve as we move forward. Make sure that you have a plan for each of your teams and their specific needs. Whether it’s for huddle rooms, conference rooms, mobile workers, or executives, The VideoConference Store team is here to help with the best plan for your company. Give us a call or chat with an expert to get create the best plan for your teams.

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