If you work in an office setting, chances are you have been on a conference call at some point. Conference calling was once considered the epitome of productive technology. Allowing people from all across the country to participate in the conversation was revolutionary. And, of course, it is still widely utilized today.
However, in the modern office, there is a better option.
Since its arrival, the web-based video conference call has made a huge impression on businesses and users alike. Sometimes the littlest changes have the biggest impact. Simply by allowing participants to engage visually with one another, rather than relying solely on audio communication, video conference calls have changed the way that we do business.
What follows are the top four benefits of choosing video conference calls over traditional conference calls.
Engage remote employees
Between 20 and 25% of Americans worked from home in 2017, according to the Virtual Vocations Year-End Report. That’s an increase of 115% since 2005.
If you have any employees working remote, it may be difficult for them to feel engaged and connected other team members. Regular video conference calls allow you to establish and maintain a face-to-face connection with remote employees. According to a study done by Forbes, 92% of participants felt that being able to “see” remote employees increased the sense of connection and trust between employees.
To do so without video conferencing would require the employees to regularly commute to the office, adding time and expense on the part of both you and your employee.
One of the biggest problems with regular conference calls is communication issues. By introducing video components, visual cues are restored to communication.
While this may seem like a minor thing, nonverbal communication makes up a significant portion of the communication between people. In a video conference call, it is incredibly helpful to know whether Harry or Ron is speaking at the moment. It’s also important to be able to see the expression on Ron’s face to help interpret whether his comment about employee overtime is a joke or whether he is being serious.
Improved communication means fewer errors in judgment when it comes to situations like these. Video conferencing reduces confusion because people are able to connect unspoken elements with spoken communication, thereby clarifying confusing situations.
One of the downsides of the traditional conference call is that you are just sitting there on a phone for an hour. Most of us are guilty of getting side-tracked as we click through emails or scroll through the news of the day.
One benefit of video conferencing is, much like an in-person meeting, people can see you. It is much harder to slack off or distract yourself when the VP can see what you are doing. While she might not be able to tell if you are reading an email, you would certainly never get up to go make a sandwich in the middle of the call.
Video conferencing requires a level of attention and engagement that traditional conference calls just don’t.
Add visual aids
While the use of regular conference calls might save time and the expense of travel, it can be very difficult to follow along with an audio conference call.
Video conferencing has the added benefit of being able to utilize visual aids. Visual aids can be anything: from a slideshow or a video to a whiteboard, photographs, or even physical objects. Visual aids add interest to the meeting and also help to increase understanding.
This increases individual concentration and allows participants to absorb and remember more information.