Zooming In On The Remote Workplace

Why video conferencing is crucial to building 21st century organisations

With governments around the world mandating millions of people to work from home to avoid potential infection, businesses are having to quickly adapt to managing remote teams and successfully transforming their organisations into fully remote operations almost overnight.

However, managing that type of workplace isn’t always easy without face-to-face communication. The answer lies in video conferencing as it gives people the ability to collaborate using the devices they already have and provides multiple channels of communication.

A new age

In fact, Covid-19 has completely broadened what it means to be a video communications technology provider in times of need. Ultimately, we have a responsibility to do everything in our power to support those impacted by the coronavirus outbreak by committing reliable technology, expanded access, and agile customer service.

What is interesting is that even before the pandemic, advances in technology, interwoven with the new generation of the workforce, meant that workplace culture was already experiencing a paradigm shift. When you consider the term ‘workspace’ – it has somewhat lost its true meaning. It no longer defines a traditional work setting, the connotation of going to work is drifting. With people opting to go to co-working spaces, coffee shops, to stay at home, or even go outdoors – more places are deemed acceptable “workspaces”, so long as the process works for individuals and the job gets done effectively.

However, this flexible concept of the workspace is no longer a ‘nice to have’. Being able to work remotely is business critical. And businesses are having to adapt and rethink their day-to-day operations to ensure they can successfully continue.

Our vision is to ensure video communications can empower people to accomplish more and create a connected culture. With that in mind, there are three elements that will impact the way business leaders run their organisations by using video conferencing during this challenging time.

The breakdown of geographical barriers

With everyone working from home, businesses will see that one of the main benefits of video conferencing is that it can help your team stay connected even when they aren’t in the same physical location. As such, they will start to see the breakdown of geographical barriers and the fact that things like training numerous employees in multiple locations coherently can still take place successfully.

This will broaden their thinking on what other areas of the business are currently restricted to location. For example, talent hire, with everyone used to working remotely, will see businesses begin to hire the best talent anywhere in the world, rather than look at talent by geography. Businesses will have the potential to hire the best people for the job, no matter where they are.

The environmental impact

With employees working from home and not travelling for business, organisations will quickly see the impact they have on the environment in normal times. This will enable them to start to make proactive, positive environmental change thanks to remote working.

Last year we partnered with the Chorus.ai conversation intelligence platform to see just how much video meetings can reduce the environmental impact of a standard business meeting. An average daily commute of 30 miles results in annual CO2 emissions for a typical passenger vehicle of 4.6 metric tons. Air travel naturally is even less efficient. A single economy class round-trip flight from San Francisco to New York expels 1.4 tons of CO2.

Earlier this year, we found that by replacing face-to-face, in-person meetings with face-to-face Zoom video meetings, 10 companies reduced an estimated 685,205 metric tons of CO2 emissions over a 90 day period. That’s the same as the annual CO2 emissions from 148,958 cars, and the equivalent of planting 11,420,077 trees.

Shifting to digital internal communications

There is nothing more powerful for employees of all levels than to hear about their company’s wellbeing, its strategic direction, where it is winning and losing, and what the plan going forward will be.

Businesses may think that internal communications will be impacted without face-to-face communication. However, it can still be managed successfully no matter where in the world employees are working. Businesses must simply be open to embracing the tools available on their platforms and understanding their employee needs and desires.

We were already seeing trends towards organisations embracing the likes of town-hall-style video webinars. Gartner claims, by 2022, 40 percent of formal meetings will be facilitated by virtual concierges and advanced analytics. Now, with all employees working from home, internal meetings via video have already become the new normal. And there are many features of virtual meeting platforms that make them feel interactive – including leveraging in-meeting chats to share files and resources, polling features, screen sharing and whiteboarding.

We are entering a new era for every element of our life and work and we are committed to doing our part to help during this challenging time. When employees are not able to get to the office and when teams cannot travel to see customers, we want to provide a platform for businesses to continue to be productive. We also believe it is important to offer support so we are providing information sessions, mental health training and on-demand resources that anyone can use.

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