Video conferencing is widely seen as a key part of any unified communications platform. Not only can video conferencing cut down on travel costs without eliminating face-to-face meetings - it can also encourage collaboration and teamwork, helping colleagues get to know one another to a degree that other communication channels simply can't match.
But for all these potential gains to become reality, it's essential for business personnel to utilize the available video conferencing tools regularly and effectively. This is by no means a given. It takes both preparation and an understanding of best practices to ensure that video conferences prove successful and satisfying for everyone involved.
Here are just a few of the most important points to focus on when encouraging video conferencing use among a workforce.
1. Basic TrainingFirst and most importantly, any employees who may need or want to utilize the company's video conferencing solutions should receive basic training with the technology.
This may seem unnecessary - and, indeed, many companies skip over this step when implementing their video conferencing tools. After all, the solution should theoretically be quite easy to utilize, even for employees who do not have a great deal of UC or IT experience. However, the fact of the matter is that even the simplest video conferencing solutions will have features that may not be immediately obvious. More importantly, employees who have little experience with the technology may not be aware of basics such as the right way to set up and position the computers and cameras, the ideal space in which to hold the conference, and so on. Missteps here can significantly undermine the effectiveness of the video conference.
With a little basic training, though, workers will avoid these mistakes and enjoy a much more rewarding video conferencing experience.
2. The Right SituationOne of the great things about a high-quality video conferencing product is how often it can used effectively. As a growing number of companies are coming to realize, there are many situations in which workers tend to turn to voice or other channels, but would be better served by video conferencing. For example, a team with remote workers can feature a video conferencing component to ensure that off-premise personnel can see and get to know their in-office counterparts.
However, it is also important to recognize that there are certain times when video conferencing is less than ideal. Some clients may not be on board with the technology initially, or it may require too much scheduling in advance for some personnel. Recognizing when it is ideal to turn to video conferencing and when it's not is critical for maximizing the technology's value to a company.
3. BackupsFinally, it's important for personnel to appreciate the need for backups when leveraging video conferencing.
This isn't a knock against the reliability of video conferencing technology. In many cases, these solutions are exceedingly dependable, matching up well against other communication channels. At the same time, though, there's no such thing as a completely fool-proof technology. What's more, video conferencing will often be used to engage with clients, which means that the third party needs to use the solutions correctly for the meeting to be a success, and that won't always be the case.
That is why employees should be encouraged to always have a backup ready to go in the event that the video conference goes awry in some way. This way, instead of scrambling, workers can smoothly switch to an audio conference or alternative communication channel, preserving both productivity and the company's image of professionalism.