What if getting a meeting together was easy? As it is, meetings can cause a lot of stress and disruption even when nobody has to travel to get there. Getting people to a meeting when not all of your staff are in one or two locations can be an even bigger problem. Video conferencing can help, but some systems are older and just don’t have the flexibility to handle more than a couple of locations, or have much in the way of scalability, or work with tablets and smartphones – the technology of choice for many on-the-go workers. Bringing everyone in, making sure everyone is heard, and giving them a chance to contribute can make a huge difference to your organization.

To Meeting or Not to Meeting

Meetings provide a valuable venue for staff and teams to meet, share information, brainstorm, refine management operations, and resolve problems. When a meeting is well organized and run with a definite agenda, the can even be enjoyable experiences. However, interpersonal dynamics within an organization can be set at about a 7th grade level, no matter how many degrees and years of experience are present. Exclusivity about who attends from what department, and who speaks on what subject can raise tensions when contractors and other offsite staff are left out because of connectivity concerns. Having a system unable to connect with a different system at another location brings up a whole new set of problems. The throwing up hands and deciding not to hold a meeting at all brings up just as many problems.

A look at Verizon’s whitepaper shows how deeply everyone is conflicted on the subject of meetings.

  • 92 percent of meeting attendees believe that meetings offer valuable opportunities for employees to contribute to the success of their organization and projects.
  • 73 percent of busy professionals feel significantly stressed by worries about family and loved ones when required to travel to a meeting.
  • 64 percent of attendees worry about other work piling up unaddressed in the time that they are attending the meeting.
  • 89 percent of the respondents believe that technology will make meetings easier “in the future.”
  • 91 percent of regular meeting goers admit to daydreaming during meetings, and 39 percent have actually dozed off.

Considering the same study found that busy professionals are required to attend over 60 meeting per month, the smart money says that there are a lot more sleepyheads in the audience than admitted. Directing attention to the statistic at the top of the list and contrasting it with the one at the bottom, it’s pretty safe to say that some of those 60 meetings can be dispensed with, while at the same time bringing in more of those who have been left out of the process.

The iPad Office

It’s a simple fact that cloud based software and services are changing businesses. When you can access your data anywhere, via any device, you look for apps and services that are adaptable and affordable. Video conferencing has gone the same way with apps like Bluejeans, allowing flexible and scalable solutions via a
Blue Jeans network live meeting. A simple to use app that can be used anywhere from a roomful of participants, to a contractor at your job site, a freelancer at home, or a supplier across the world opens up new possibilities. Sharing information over video and sharing content in app brings up new ways to collaborate, and beings back the value of face time. In a study done by Gigaom, 87 percent of remote users – those usually left out of meetings because of travel constraints or other factors – feel more connected and involved when using video conferencing. That’s a significant statistic, because if you read it the other way, that 87 percent felt disconnected and uninvolved before using video conferencing

Reconnect and Re-engage

You have a highly educated staff with years of experience. Your young blood is technologically adept, forward thinking, and creative. Your older heads are experienced, steady, and savvy. According to Gallup, about 73 percent between the ages of 30 and 64 are emotionally disengaged from work. Connecting with the ones who have disconnected is as important as connecting with your remote location staff. The over scheduled, the micro-managed, the left out of the loop personnel need to be brought in and given ways to communicate that take in the reality of a 21st century workplace, instead of a bunch of the last century’s moribund business school concepts repackaged and tarted up with new jargon. Innovation should be the watchword of any business, and giving everyone a chance to do so can boost your organization beyond your wildest dreams. After all, in order to think outside of the box, you need to open it up!

One thought on “Video Conferencing – Connecting the Unconnected”
  1. Video conferencing technology in particular, has become one of the most powerful mediums of communication, helping individuals at home as well as small and large companies. Tools like R-HUB, WebEx, GoMeetNow, gotomeeting etc, helps businesses in cost reduction, easy client interaction, increased efficiency etc.

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