Contact between employees is central to success at most organizations. Yet, the cost associated with travel is arguably the single biggest business obstacle to meetings today. Cost comes in many forms, from loss of time to the cost of travel itself and the cost to the environment.
Although reducing travel is an important step towards managing costs, there are other repercussions to this method of cost reduction that need to be recognized and addressed. Effective communication is an imperative for successful businesses today. For example, there is the risk that reduced communication between employees will affect productivity. One option for sustaining communication is email, but academic studies have shown that email's limitations range from the absence of visual cues to outright misinterpretations. Another option, phone or conference calls, does not provide for sharing documents or working together on certain applications.
Of course, it's not difficult to make the case for managing costs, nor is it difficult to argue the importance of face-to-face communications among employees. Video conferencing is a compelling solution to both these considerations and it's a tool that can be both implemented and measured cost effectively.
Consider some of the strengths of video conferencing:
- It allows you to get your people off the road while still collaborating with colleagues; it contributes to the bottom line by saving time. Consider the time consumed by air travel alone, including waiting for connections or security delays.
- Video strengthens communication, delivering almost 40% more in audience retention compared with audio-only.
- Implementing a comprehensive video conference program has been demonstrated to trim product development costs by 21% while bringing projects to completion significantly faster.
- Face-to-face meetings assist in persuasion, encourage debate while reducing uncertainty to help build trust among participants. This holds true for employees, clients, and suppliers.
- When people have visual communications, confusion is reduced and individuals tend to be more accountable for their responsibilities.
- Videoconferencing can save time and money in all sorts of meetings, from company training programs to job interviews.