In movies and TV shows like 'Back to the Future' and 'The Jetsons', the concept of video calls seemed like a distant reality. Now that technology has become an indispensable part of our everyday lives.
Videoconferencing has been transformative in the business world, as it has allowed telecommuters and business teams across multiple locations to meet face to face despite physical distance. On the campuses of large companies, it can take 15 minutes to walk from one building to another for a meeting, so videoconferencing is becoming increasingly commonplace, even in co-located offices. Videoconferencing also helps businesses lower costs related to hiring by minimizing the need for travel.
Part of the beauty of videoconferencing is that some meetings don’t even require a meeting room anymore. In today’s workplace, people prefer more flexible and portable solutions, so they can hop on a videoconference anytime, anywhere. People even have the option to log into a videoconference directly from their desks if a meeting room isn’t available. Videos could potentially replace email as the communication tool of choice because they provide an immediacy and personal touch that other digital communication tools don’t.
But does videoconferencing actually help us be more productive at work? Even the most advanced videoconferencing systems are not as effective as face-to-face communication because they don’t allow participants to make eye contact or read body language and emotions as effectively.
It used to be that a videoconferencing system would cost a business $50,000 to $100,000 and it was only available for executives to use. Nowadays, videoconferencing systems are ubiquitous, with free services available through Facetime, Skype, Google Hangouts, and other platforms.
Business videoconferencing solutions could be had in a conference room for just around $1000-$2000. Videoconferencing software allows you to a send an invitation link, and the invitee can access the link on their phone or web browser. The barriers of cost and complexity have been eliminated from videoconferencing, making it a readily available option for businesses of all sizes.
Meetings with the videoconferencing tools we have access to today are just about as good as meeting face to face, but they’re still not quite at the same level. Improvements to these tools are on the horizon, however. Videoconferencing is getting “smarter” through the use of multiple cameras and software that utilizes artificial intelligence and computer vision to frame shots, identify where the action is, and follow it.
Mobile videoconferencing will likely go mainstream for business, just as it has for consumers. The portability of videoconferencing has become increasingly better with time. Thanks to front-facing cameras, 4G wireless technology, and video-capable tablets, businesspeople can participate in meetings from just about anywhere.
Expect to see videoconferencing reach beyond boardrooms and into other industries, like finance, law, and healthcare. For example, in the financial industry, video ATMs allow customers to speak to a bank teller via videoconferencing from a remote location. The ATM is able to recognize the face or fingerprint of a customer, so there is no need to carry an ID.
In healthcare, videoconferencing has become prevalent. From holistic disease management to telepsychiatry, videoconferencing technology has enabled doctors to provide care and guidance to patients in rural areas and others with limited access to healthcare. Patients can connect with medical specialists without having to leave their homes.
Videoconferencing is also helping courtrooms cut costs by enabling them to hold trials virtually. Videoconferencing give lawyers and others live access to trials, hearings, and depositions, saving them the time and expense of traveling to the courtroom. Attorneys can also provide legal counsel via videoconference to those who are unable to find an attorney in their area.
Videoconferencing has already been a force of change in the workplace, but you will see it continue to make strides in various fields. To enjoy the advantages of videoconferencing in your workplace, it’s important to use tools that can help you easily book and hold videoconferences both in the office and remotely. Resource Central is a meeting room booking solution that can help you find and book meeting rooms for videoconferences in just a few clicks. Sign up for a free trial or free online demo of Resource Central to learn more.