The popularity of video conferencing continues to climb, with 96 percent of business managers and leaders saying the technology has been instrumental in allowing them to collapse the barriers of distance and culture, says Scoop. The article further shares different views of users on a couple of issues, based on the results of a Polycom survey:
Participants from countries like India (30 percent), Singapore (26 percent) and Poland (21 percent) were more likely to pay attention to what their counterparts on the other side of the screen were wearing while 13 percent or less from participants in the UK, France, Russia and The Netherlands were less likely to mind or find it distracting.
Video Conferencing in the Asia Pacific:
Results also pointed out that video conferencing was a valuable tool for Asia Pacific businesses, allowing 60 percent of disparate teams to touch base or keep regular contact, without resorting to travel. Given the boom of startup companies in many parts of Asia, with many management teams overseeing offsite staff in different countries, it’s not a big surprise that the technology has proven indispensable for companies in the region.
60 percent of respondents from India said they would use video for drumming up new business and reaching out to clients. Russia followed behind with 49 percent and Brazil at 44 percent. On a global context, 38 percent expressed that they would use or have already used video conferencing in capturing new business opportunities and clients.
Hiring and Attracting Talent:
US came on top as the country that used video conferencing the most to fulfill hiring and recruitment goals, with 32 percent of participants saying they would use for these purposes—or have already done. APAC fell in step, with 28 percent. From conducting preliminary meetings to panel interviews through video, companies are able to cut hiring and recruitment costs as well.
Europe, the Middle East and Africa emerged as the top three countries to use video conferencing as a means to build flexible working environments for employees, which included work-from-home or telecommuting solutions. With industry players like Blue Jeans offering conference call options, HD clarity, and collaborative features, working remote has never been easier or simpler.
Improving Your Conference Calls
As video conferencing grows invaluable to business, knowing how to improve the quality of your online conferences becomes even more important as well. If you’re reaching out to a client, one wrong move—a bad shirt, unprofessional surroundings or inappropriate background noises—could kill the deal instead of cinch it. So here are a few tips from Computer World on what video conferencing rules you should know and follow:
- Dress for it. You won’t have to break out your trousers or skirts. A professional top will suffice. Just make sure you don’t stand up within camera range if you aren’t wearing the right bottoms. Also, don’t try anything until you’re dressed and ready. One woman tried out a mobile program, using it to contact her colleagues. She was working from home in the buff. By activating the program, she didn’t realize she was sending video calls to her colleagues—naked. So don’t make that mistake. Dress for the part before you sit down in front of the screen.
- Ditch the bed. Keep it professional. Don’t make or take calls in bed. You could find a pleasant and well-lighted place to make or take those conference calls instead. Allowing your colleagues to see you in less-than-professional surroundings can derail the conversation or worse, put you in a bad light.
- Never video conference while in the bathroom. Enough said.
- Be more mindful of your actions. Using video conferencing often takes some getting used to. Just always be on alert. Otherwise, you find might find yourself doing things you wouldn’t want anyone from the office to see—like scratching your privates or picking your nose.
- Don’t emit strange sounds. To be fair, you might not even know you’re making them. So be careful not to stand too close to the mike. You wouldn’t want your team to hear you breathing heavily, emitting sighs, groans, moans and other sounds that, while completely innocent, might not seem appropriate on a video conference.
- Keep your pets out. Again, the point is to keep your conference calls professional. This is especially important if you’re conducting a presentation. Don’t do anything on your end that could detract from the discussion at hand, distractions included. So make sure Fido doesn’t come running into the room, treating your team to the sight of you being smothered in dog kisses and spit.
So pull off your conference calls with confidence. Know what you can and can’t do online. Improve the quality of your relationship with colleagues and clients by changing the way you reach out and communicate.