Four Ways Video Collaboration Can Benefit Small BusinessBusiness professionals who are unfamiliar with video collaboration and videoconferencing technology tend to write it off as irrelevant, or feel it’s too expensive or complicated for them to incorporate into their business strategies. It’s unfortunate that many don’t understand its true value, because once most executives explore the technology and its capabilities, they see just how videoconferencing can help their teams increase productivity and efficiency. And statistics bear that out.

A recent study by Wainhouse Research and Polycom surveyed companies that used videoconferencing on a regular basis. Nearly all these companies (94 percent) claimed increased productivity and efficiency as the main benefits of the technology. Other companies stated that they also benefited by increased engagement (88 percent), faster decisions (87 percent), and cost savings (87percent). Videoconferencing technology has changed immensely over the years, and—as it has evolved, and will continue to evolve—so will its benefits.

Save Money with Video Conferencing Technology

For small businesses, every penny counts, and one of the biggest benefits of videoconferencing is its significant financial savings. One study found by using videoconferencing technology, companies lowered their travel expenses by 30 percent. Employees didn’t have to rush back to the office for meetings, saving everyone time and money. This benefit extends past employee meetings however: Videoconferencing technology lets you avoid airline ticket costs, hotels, and other travel expenses. Then, when you expand on the “reduction in travel” that video collaboration allows, you begin to “go greener” as an organization, reducing you carbon footprint, and doing your part, however small, for the planet.

Offer Workplace Flexibility

Millennials have taken over your workforce—they are currently the largest generation employed today and will represent nearly 75 percent of the work force by 2030. Flexibility is one of the primary qualities this group looks for, and videoconferencing allows you to offer it. Whether you use videoconferencing to offer full telecommute positions or simply allow employees to attend meetings from the comfort of their own homes, the benefits are obvious. An estimated three million (and rising) Americans work from home today, and a recent forbes.com article, Pew Research Center reports, “if they were able to make their current job more flexible, 64 percent of Millennials want to occasionally work from home and 66 percent would like to shift their hours.” It’s clear employees are looking for work/life balance and flexible job options. Videoconferencing helps you provide that.

Increase Employee Engagement

Improved employee engagement is a natural byproduct of workplace flexibility. When employees aren’t forced to attend meetings “at the office,” and are able to reduce stressful commute times, they tend to be happier. They feel trusted. And that goes a long way toward increased employee morale as well. One study found that during a videoconferencing meeting, 96 percent of employees were engaged and interested in what was being discussed. This is a significant difference when compared to the fact that, on average, only 13 percent of employees are “fully engaged” in their jobs. Videoconferencing, paired with the aforementioned workplace flexibility allows you to hold face-to-face meetings from anywhere, thereby increasing productivity and convenience.

Strengthen Your Reputation and Relationships

Videoconferencing doesn’t just benefit your business internally; it enhances your reputation as well. These days, state-of-the-art technology is commonplace, so much so that customers and employees expect it. People want to buy from—and work for—progressive companies. Whether appealing to customers, potential talent, or business partners, videoconferencing puts you at the forefront of technology. What’s more, because it emulates face-to-face meetings, it also allows you to build closer relationships with your business partners and customers.

Perhaps the biggest impact of videoconferencing technology is on small businesses, which wouldn’t otherwise have the resources to expand or embrace new technology. Videoconferencing technology is cost-effective and easy to learn, as long as you have the right tool – including a great camera, of course! Whether you’re looking for a flexible workplace, improved productivity, or a simple way to cut costs, videoconferencing holds significant potential for your business.

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