1995 was an interesting year. The music charts featured the “Outhere Brothers” with “Boom Boom Boom” and there was those unforgettable lyrics…
“Boom boom boom now let me hear you say wayoh, wayhoh!”
Back then I was too busy partying and wasn’t really concerned with working in IT. Sitting in an office wasn’t high on my priorities list, and it was virtually unheard of to work remotely. At the time only 8 percent of the workforce worked remotely, even for one day out of the week. Today, specialists project that number is well on its way to reaching upwards of 35 percent. It adds flexibility for workers and video conferencing software and systems allow even small businesses the opportunity to meet face to face with interested parties from the other side of the planet. Hiring can be done from literally thousands of miles away, work can be carried out without ever once meeting in person, and while this helps a business to expand reach and facilitate growth, it’s also great news for employees.
The workforce of today is no longer trapped in a cubicle or bound to a desk, and a great deal of that is thanks to video conferencing.
Conferencing from Home
According to the New York Times, full-time telecommuters have increased in number by close to 80 percent in less than a decade, with literally millions of people doing work outside the office permanently. Sadly, despite all my mobile handsets, tablets and laptops, I’m not one of them. Video conferencing makes it possible for many employees to telecommute, attending work virtually while performing their duties from their very own home, but that’s not all. Employees can also pick up their workplace and move it as they like, so long as they maintain the same level of productivity and efficiency their employer expects. So no, you can’t sit in the bathroom.
How does this increase in mobility help businesses? Usually it’ll mean that you can attract more employees from further afield as they won’t be put off by a long commute. This not only increases reach and assists in growth, it also increases productivity: telecommuting employees are proven to work longer hours and offer more effective working strategies than their office-bound peers. Expensive business travel can also be a thing of the past, with you able to meet clients face to face without leaving the office.
Enabling mobility allows businesses to grow in reach and productivity, and all it takes is video conferencing software from Blue Jeans or other familiar platforms. By video, you allow employees, colleagues and customers a direct line of face to face communication no matter where their travels and business might take them, and this is key to maintaining a loyal network. It seems strange, but video calling hasn’t taken off for personal calls in quite the same way as business calls.
Another great aspect of video conferencing is the ability to make the conference itself mobile, not just the job to which the conference relates. Telecommuters can attend important company meetings from a tablet computer that’s tapped into a Wi-Fi hotspot in an aeroplane 35 thousand feet up in the air—the epitome of business mobility. Imagine Skype, but for business. This allows employees to discuss important matters with supervisors and stay connected with clients even in transit, taking away the terror of nine missed conference requests when they get back to the office. Android and iOS apps are available to let you do just that, so you don’t necessarily need any special kit to keep in touch.
The best video conferencing platforms and systems are scalable, easy to set up and use, and makes it easy to maintain and support a business from anywhere in the world. While many telecommuting positions used to require employees be available 24 hours per day in their office, mobile video conferencing allows these same employees to reach meetings via smartphone from their favourite café. Having the option to see your employee face to face at any time during a standard workday not only increases feelings of accountability, but also makes it easier for telecommuters to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
According to the Guardian, being able to visually see your team at work makes business more interactive and makes collaborations more natural, while still allowing employees the freedom to be where they really want to be. In this way, enabling mobility in your business could be the best thing you’ve ever done for your workers, opening up the opportunity to manage both personal and professional duties with ease. Video conferencing is the first step on the journey to business mobility, but if you choose the right service and manage your business properly it could just be the only step you need!
Face to Face Meetings
With the growth of video conferencing technology and increase in telecommuting employees, it’s more important than ever to hear the voices and see the faces of an employee or supervisor whenever possible. It’s distressingly easy to see someone who exists strictly through email or other textual communications as a non-entity, something other than a person—services like Blue Jeans and other video conferencing platforms keep that from happening, no matter how far away the participants in a video conference may be.
If you’re looking to make your business global, give your employees the freedom to travel or even get away from the office for a while yourself without worrying about losing touch, video conferencing is your ticket to employed mobility. Why not give it a try?