“…there’s so much that we share, that it’s time we’re aware it’s a small world after all ….” Never have those popular theme park ride lyrics been more applicable than they are today. Travel is easier, more efficient and accessible than ever. The Internet has made it possible to communicate with anyone, anytime and virtually anywhere. Though most people consider the notion that the world appears to get smaller in strictly personal terms, the world of commerce has perhaps benefited from this even more. Technological advances in telecommunications have made proximity essentially irrelevant; it no longer matters where an office is.
Ease in communication over long distances and different time zones does not come without its own set of challenges, however. An international enterprise must still ensure the lines of communication are available on demand and communication itself remains as effective as it was “in the good old days”. Of all the tools available, video conferencing is best suited to produce the collaboration necessary for success. Here’s why:
When you plan the plan, it helps to face the face. Clearly telephone and email communication remain appropriate for standard exchanges of information and ideas. However, common wisdom has long told us that half of any message is lost when we don’t have the ability to observe facial cues. The face-to-face interaction that video conferencing allows cultivates a sense of intimacy, of connectedness, especially important if language barriers exist.
Unlike real estate-it’s not “Location, location, location”. Time and distance no longer matter, and the significant costs normally associated with travel (often prohibitive for smaller companies) can be completely eliminated. Plus, when key people don’t have to travel, they remain focused on mission-critical tasks and get them done. Oh, and no jet lag.
What you see is what you get. Video conferencing permits the presentation and use of visual aids (e.g., spreadsheets, whiteboards, PowerPoint slides). Showing an intricate concept is much easier than describing it, especially when you demonstrate it via high-speed, high-definition video.
It’s not collaboration if it doesn’t feel collaborative. Teamwork generates productivity and morale builds teamwork. Keeping morale high is made easier because interactions are personal and face-to-face, allowing each participant in a video conference to be a visible teammate rather than just one of many detached voices on a telephone conference call.
Video conferencing: Ensuring that no matter where your people are, it is indeed a small world after all.