Make Room for Video Conferencing
With tight travel budgets, a desire to reduce carbon emissions and a need to utilize employee time efficiently, video conferencing
is increasingly seen as an effective solution. Employees can meet, share knowledge and include participants who are not physically on-site in a meaningful and active way. Video conferencing uses a combination of four technologies: audio, web, video and interactive whiteboard.
Unless these conferences are by desktop and between two individuals (point to point meetings), however, there is still a need for a physical space in which to carry out the meeting. There are studies that indicate that work is more collaborative now, which means communal space requirements are increasing – even as companies are reducing their real estate footprint.
A flexible workspace is desirable. Meeting rooms must be equipped with the ideal videoconferencing technology for that user's needs. But those rooms must also be booked and actually used – a meeting room that is not being used is waste of space. One workplace study found that 70% of employees reported losing up to 15 minutes a day looking for a place to collaborate with teammates and 23% wasted up to a half hour daily,
Luckily, there are systems that can make the use of space efficient. Room scheduling is important, and adopting a technological system for doing that effectively is now possible. In addition to scheduling, an environment must be promoted where meetings start – and end - on time.
Once in the Room – Barriers to Success
Video conferencing has expanded rapidly in the last two decades, with the introduction of low cost, high capacity broadband telecommunication services, powerful computing processors and video compression techniques. But our own adaptive abilities have lagged a bit behind. There are barriers in our perception of the use of AV technology in our shared space (Can I make it work? How expensive is it?). There is also an innate self-consciousness of going in front of a camera – a sort of performance anxiety. And some "tricks” need to be learned – most importantly that eye contact still must be maintained via the camera with your collaborators in your meeting room – and other meeting rooms linked in. Looking at a camera instead of a smiling co-worker in the front row of your meeting (or a whiteboard or screen) is not an intuitive skill and must be practiced. But eye contact with those meeting with you in virtual space is essential for the collaborative process.
The Professional Solution
There is no question that video conferencing promotes collaboration and, without that, innovation is likely not going to happen. Group sharing can be much more effective in bringing forward new ideas and concepts, and mining the full talents of employees. Video conferencing is fast and flexible, two qualities that will be corporate imperatives in a competitive environment. A company that specializes
in AV solutions can tailor-make a cost-effective and smooth operating system for any kind of business, institutional or government client. The kind of expert assistance needed
should spend time on-site, focus on educating the client, and provide "solutions” for enhancing collaborations – not just selling products.
It does not take a massive investment to boost your collaborative capability – and your future success depends on it.