Real Time Communications Featured Article

Video Collaboration Boosts Productivity of Workers

January 09, 2015

The merits of incorporating videoconferencing into one’s business operations stable have long been touted: they include cost-savings on travel, enhanced productivity and smarter collaboration. A recent study has quantified this conventional wisdom: a whopping 90 percent of those who regularly use video to collaborate say they are experiencing these benefits.

According to a study from research firm Quocirca, more than 80 percent directly link their fiscal savings to making faster business decisions and improving employee work/life balance.

Although the survey uncovered the many benefits of using video collaboration, it also showed that barriers to broad adoption still exist. Very few organizations have broadly rolled out video to desktop and mobile users and typically have limited availability of video to the larger conference rooms. However, one of every two people surveyed said that they would make use of the technology, if they had access to it.

"The value of most networking technologies tends to increase disproportionately the greater the numbers of individuals connected,” said Rob Bamforth, research and analysis house, Quocirca. “Videoconferencing is no exception. Moreover, increasing usage also generates more familiarity and comfort with the whole experience. Encouraging a culture of video adoption would therefore seem to benefit both the individual and the organization.”

The results also pointed out the ease of use of many of the newer video technologies. The firm found that more than 50 percent of people who regularly use video rarely or never need IT to help them place a call. And, 45 percent of end users surveyed frequently use their mobile devices, such as tablets, laptops and mobile phones, to join a videoconference.

The results also point out the realities of the digital,dispersed workforce. More than a third (35 percent) of digital natives—workers who are 25 years or younger and will define the future of work—use video frequently and from anywhere. These numbers are expected to grow as the amount of mobile devices increases and organizations continue to offer more flexible working arrangements. Already 40 percent of North American companies use a mobile video solution—second behind Asia-Pacific.

“The way people work is changing,” said Jim Kruger, CMO at Polycom, which sponsored the survey. “Mobility, BYOD, social and collaboration solutions like videoconferencing combined with the desire to reduce real estate costs are causing businesses around the world to rethink the traditional office setting.”

Overall, North America is ahead of the global curve when it comes to adoption. More than 85 percent of North American individual users, at all levels of the organization, connect with peers via video—the most of any region. And, more than 90 percent of North American companies use room-based systems—also the highest of any region.

Nearly 65 percent use virtual meeting rooms (a simple call-in bridge number) to connect—second only to Europe and the Middle East. And North America has the highest use of connecting to a call via instant messaging.

Not all regions show such penetration, and there’s plenty of room to grow. “We’re seeing the measurable impact video collaboration is having, but with just a fraction of organizations around the globe using video regularly, the results of this survey illustrate its potential in any work environment and across every industry,” Kruger said.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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