The convenience of enterprise-level video conferencing is affordable for small companies and even start-ups, thanks to easy access to high-speed internet connections and popularity of multimedia equipment. Security in communications is important and attainable.
Reducing costs while staying ahead of the competition is a primary concern for today’s chief information officers. Video conferencing hasn’t reached the robotics process automation level quite yet, but it can save companies money, make them more efficient, and increase their productivity.
Reduce Overhead and Travel
The world relies more on contractors and freelancers today, and the days of “regular” employees are numbered. The main reason is cost. Companies don’t have to pay benefits to contractors or freelancers including unemployment.
It’s a new hybrid of outsourcing. Some contractors may work in the office a few days a week and remote-in the rest of the time. Often, contractors are paid through a staffing agency that bills the employer.
If a contractor is under-producing or the company has to tighten its budget, the company can easily drop the contractor. Using remote-employees of any flavor can reduce a firm’s overhead by eliminating the need for office space and parking. A swanky address might be good for sales, but the rent can be expensive.
By allowing workers to connect to the office via web conferencing and other cloud-based software, the hassle or excuse of traffic and car problems goes away. Employees should be better able to show up to work on time.
It may not be readily apparent, but eliminating commutes and allowing employees to work from home can lead to a reduction in medical costs and sick days. There will be fewer situations in which a flu wipes out a whole department in a week. There’s always that one guy in the office who refuses to stay home even though he’s infecting his coworkers.
Speed Up Hiring and Onboarding
In the old days, companies would pay the travel and lodging expenses of prospective employees. Nowadays, human resources departments tend to focus on acquiring local talent to save on costs.
This trend is terrible for business. Telephone interviews really are only good enough for screening candidates. Asking a prospect to participate in a teleconference with five people on the other end of the phone line is ridiculous. How is he supposed to know who is talking to him? Is everyone going to start an answer or question with “This is Dave…” or “This is Brenda…”?
These types of systems can eliminate the need to limit an employee search to the local area. During the onboarding process, a video conference can give a remote employee a chance to meet the team, pick up on their eccentricities, and avoid awkward handshakes, says Kim Wolf of Redbooth.
Being able to share screens while video conferencing can save time and increase efficiency. HR personnel can walk a new hire through the time sheet process and all the log-ins needed to get into the company’s software portals. Even the token procedure for accessing email can be bazaar to new employees.
Better and More Productive Training
Most companies are legally required to provide employees with continual training on safety and ethics. This can be an expensive requirement. It also can interrupt employees’ workflow. Everyone has to stop working at a scheduled time to take the training.
By conducting the training through a video conference platform, companies can allow employees more flexibility. They can log into the conference from their workstations or from home. There also is the option of recording the training and allowing employees to watch it later.
For companies to keep up with their competitors, they have to continually update their software. Training employees on new versions of the software they’ve been using for years can be a losing battle in a traditional classroom setting.
With cloud-based video conferencing, small business can easily take advantage of today’s technology. BlueJeansallows companies to integrate video conferencing with a huge variety of software products such as Cisco, Polycom, Microsoft, Google, and LifeSize.
By using all the interactivity tools available through these types of platforms, trainers can keep students engaged and answer questions efficiently. There will be few repeat questions for sure.
On the Edge
The collision of the Internet of Things and Big Data has paved the way for cogitative computing in business process automation. As disruptive technologies evolve and become more affordable, small businesses will be able to streamline their workflows, cut costs, and reach the right prospects faster. Virtual humans are the next stage, says Om Mallk of The New Yorker.
As today’s employees move away from non-thinking, repetitive tasks and onto creative and analytical pursuits, video conferencing can be an asset. Teams can conduct daily SCRUMM meetings remotely to get more things done. Collaboration through these kinds of software eventually will become as natural as using a keyboard instead of a pen.