Video calls used to be a staple of science fiction movies; we would regularly see astronauts receiving orders via video calls from earth. Whilst this would seem mundane now though, the technology has perhaps had the most profound effect on our professional lives. Here is how video conferencing is changing the way we do business.
What Is Video Conferencing
Video conferencing allows two or more locations to communicate by a simultaneous two-way video and audio transmission. This differs from the video calls that were popularised in 2010 when Apple unveiled FaceTime alongside its iPhone 4, as it is designed to serve a conference or multiple locations rather than individuals.
Formerly, the only way to communicate with several individuals at once was through conference calling and whilst this was novel at the time, it was plagued with technical difficulties, such as shaky audio quality or individuals dropping out altogether. It also was clearly not designed around how human beings prefer to communicate as without the facial cues to guide us, it was not only difficult to detect tone but it was also a challenge trying the establish who was speaking at any one time – especially if you were new to the company and weren’t yet familiar with your colleagues.
Another common issue that presented itself was people often unintentionally) interrupting each other, as you did not know who was going to speak next. With modern video conferencing solutions from companies like Logicalis, such issues seem to have been acknowledged and the problems have been eradicated, making taking part in meetings whilst in a completely different location a breeze.
Previously, video conferencing was limited to a single room which housed the expensive A.V. equipment that was necessary for a stable connection. However, this equipment is now much more affordable and laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones often have built-in forward facing cameras, enabling you to communicate with your peers in high-definition.
Due to our day-to-day workflows utilising a wealth of different forms of technology, it is now easier than ever to complete the majority of our work from home, and a recent ONS study found that a record 4.2m in the UK now work from home, which is around 14%. It is also becoming more common for companies to employ freelancers who may work across the country or even across the globe. Without modern videoconferencing software, it would not be possible for this to be the case and these solutions have shaped the changing landscapes of the business world, allowing employees to communicate with each other instantly as and when required.
It is incredible to think how technology can change the business world in such a short amount of time and applications like Skype have now made it a part of day-to-day life – it will be interesting to see where this kind of technology leads the business world next.