March 5, 2013

Article

Video communication may become point of contention at firm

Businesses are increasingly using video communication to keep their remote workers in the loop regarding in-house changes of everything from email protocols to overall software deployments. These resources have become a vital part of many organizational innovations, pushing for better networking between personnel no matter where they are and creating a consistent message that employees can access at any time.

Such tools are also receiving added attention thanks to ongoing mobile innovations and web-based utilities becoming more readily available. As the proliferation of smartphones and tablets becomes greater every year, putting multiple screens in every worker’s hands, reaching them through video communication is increasingly viable. The usefulness of being able to access training, important updates and other corporate information from anywhere at any time has kept video resources an important part of many businesses.

Fighting for communication
According to the Press-Telegram, enterprise video supports the kind of collaboration and innovation that businesses need to be successful. Not all administrators see it that way, though, which could result in issues with keeping all personnel acting in an unified manner. Specifically, this problem has come up with Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer, who feels that remote work isn’t sufficient for producing the right kind of teamwork within the organization. This has resulted in a major outcry among remote employees, as well as others in the industry who’ve come forward to promote their own success stories. Using enterprise video solutions has helped freelance writers, healthcare providers, insurance companies, prestigious universities and international organizations.

The source also noted a recent study by Texas A&M Transportation Institute, showing that the benefits of enterprise video are potentially viewed by employees as something more important than a way of staying away from the office. Working from home can help reduce commuting traffic, improve air quality in metro areas and save people money on gas, eating out, transportation fees and a wide array of other costs. Apart from the comfort of working from home, taking these privileges away from remote employees could present a serious risk to retention and staff management, the source stated.

On top of that, a study by the University of Stanford found substantial improvements in productivity and engagement among workers asked to perform their jobs remotely. The source stated that output went up by 13 percent among people working from home most of the time, with about one-third of that time being used more productively and the remainder citing simply having more time with which to get work done.

Improving output and engagement
For companies concerned about reducing the interaction of employees by letting them work in a remote capacity, more research by Microsoft and the University of Washington has looked at the various impacts created in a video communication environment to see if they’re as substantial as face-to-face options. Fast Company reported that the results of the study showed allowing workers to see and hear messages, as opposed to simply communicating via text-based methods, is more personal and engaging than other forms of communication. As one video professional commented to Fast Company, people are able to understand one another better when they can see what someone is saying, rather than just reading it.

Additionally, these video communication resources are now able to reach a broader audience than ever before, even when employees are on the go. Mobile deployments, including work-owned and bring-your-own-device options, are allowing workers to integrate their smartphones and tablets into the corporate infrastructure and get more tasks done than ever before. According to iMedia Connection, there are now more web-enabled devices in the United States than there are American citizens. Such a volume of screens and web spaces makes these resources a popular venue for companies to spread their training materials, culture information and important updates to all those who they feel need to see them.

“I have my laptop and smartphone at home,” said David Frail to the Press Telegram. “Some days I’ll get some work done there before I get in the car and drive to work. It’s all about getting our jobs done as effectively and efficiently as possible.”

As businesses find more innovative ways to implement enterprise video platform tools, it’s likely that the trend toward remote work will continue to build. Its popularity among employees makes it an easy way for management to increase engagement. Its ease of use allows companies to save money on meetings and repeat in-person training. Most of all, it creates a way of unifying a workforce behind a single consistent corporate culture. While not everyone will see these values at first, looking at the research and evidence surrounding video solutions has helped make them a prominent part of many leading organizations.