Many companies are finding that there is much less need to travel with today’s modern technology at hand. In past days, in order to have meetings with various individuals spread across the company, employees would have to travel to those destinations. That would mean plane tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, meals, and many other costs. Today, video conferencing can help increase those collaboration efforts while decreasing the travel expenses. A classical example of alignment to financial savings, however organizations must really understand the nature of those meetings and what those meetings are aligned too.
High-end video conferencing systems are an investment for a company. They may cost $30,000, but they will save so much on travel expenditures, they will eventually pay for themselves. There are also PC based video conferencing methods that cost much less and are a great idea for smaller companies. All companies need for this solution is a computer, a web cam, and a broadband Internet connection.
There are many different ways in which a company can use video conferencing to its advantage:
1. Bring distant team members together
Geographic distance can separate a team as far as levels of understanding and target goals are concerned. When team members can talk face to face, much like they would during an in-person meeting, their productivity is likely to rise since they are gaining understanding of the common goal. Video meetings can be formal and scheduled or informal and spontaneous like a regular phone call.
2. Improved Relationships
Personal interaction is the most effective way to get to know someone and understand the way they work. If a company wants its employees to work well together, it needs to provide a way for the employees to interact and relate to one another, even across the distance. Face to fave video contact is among the most valuable and cost effective ways to improve employee relations.
3. Increased Meeting Effectiveness
Companies are often looking for ways to make decisions in more effective, cost efficient ways. Video conferencing is one of the best ways to meet both of those goals. Employees can meet with one another and accomplish decision making processes without ever leaving their office. Video conferencing is fast, easy, cheap, and effective.
4. Increases Employee Enthusiasm
Face it, video conferencing is just plain fun. It’s a relatively new technology that people genuinely enjoy. Employees will likely be excited to use the technology and enjoy frequent, real face to face meetings with people from across the country. Video emails are a good way for managers to maintain direct communication with a large number of people at the same time.
5. Employee Recruiting
Phone interviews and other distant barriers cause companies to hire people they do not really know very well. Video conferencing gives managers the power to interview someone very far away face to face as if they were in the room. The company saves money on flying the person to its location and it gets a good idea of what that person is truly like as an employee.
Alignment of organizations goals should match what the technology is offering and what the technology isn’t able to provide should also be measured against.
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David G. Peterson is a business consultant and author of Handling the Remedy. He has extensive international experience managing projects and operations for large financial institutions. He has worked in North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia skillfully managing business and technical requirements, core systems enhancement and support, merger and acquisition integration's, business process reengineering, off-shoring and outsourcing.