Video conferencing: Wave of the future or another invasive technology

How live video is playing an increasing role in everyday lives.

Skyping, Zooming, FaceTiming and other uses of live video are increasingly being utilized to communicate in our personal lives and business lives.

A recent survey of over 4000 employees at various levels of responsibility in several developed countries suggests that their employers are falling behind in their use of interactive video. 85 percent of these respondents indicated that video has become a significant factor in their everyday personal lives; 55 percent view music videos, 49 percent view film trailers and 36 percent use videos as a guide for cooking and other hobby pursuits.

When questioned about their attitude toward live video, over one-third indicated that they champion the use with their friends, colleagues and employers, with the majority in generations Y and Z; an additional 30 percent indicated they regularly participate in using live video; only 27 percent labeled themselves as skeptics who have not used video calls or conferencing.

When asked about their employers use of live video, over half (54 percent) indicated that they had not used live video to communicate for business and an additional 17 percent indicated that they used live video less than once a quarter. Nearly half (47 percent) suggest that their employer allows for live video but it is not actively promoted while 25 percent indicated that their employer is dismissive of video and does not allow it to be utilized.

However, 63 percent believe their employer could make better use of live video and video calls to enhance their organization. Over two-thirds suggest that live video would save significant time as compared to other communication methods (e.g. email, phone calls and instant messaging). Over half suggested that updating their organization’s communications tools will be necessary for attracting the next generation of employees and two-thirds believe younger employees expect businesses to have live video as a communications tool.

These respondents suggest that collaboration is essential for their organization to succeed and that live video is a very important collaboration tool. They indicate that the benefits of using live video include the following:

  • Greater employee retention
  • Greater diversity of business teams
  • Less traveling
  • Increased ability to work remotely
  • Increased flexibility

The consequences of not adopting live video included:

  • Inefficient use of resources
  • Slower decision-making
  • Disconnected management teams
  • Failure to innovate 

Overwhelming, these respondents felt that over the next five years, live video will change how we communicate with each other. Well over two-thirds felt that their communication patterns with customers, supervisors, job candidates, health care professionals and customers will change and will make greater utilization of live video. Over half suggested that live video will change their interaction patterns with politicians, the criminal justice system as well as their parents and children.

According to Michigan State University Extension, these finding suggest that employees are embracing live video much more rapidly than their employers and are demanding greater use of this collaborative tool. For businesses to remain competitive, both in the marketplace and in attracting employees, they need to examine their communication strategy and the tools that are available to their employees. Live video is increasingly becoming an essential business tool, not a luxury.

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