How individuals work and how we work together is a passion of mine. Considering that collaborative work impacts nearly every sector, it’s in our best interest to explore this area.

Fortunately for us, new technologies make productivity easier than ever while working in teams. The advancement of video conferencing in particular is helping us reimagine how we communicate and collaborate regardless of location. In today’s mobile economy, colleagues often work together from across different countries, home offices and on the road, so it’s with these potential environments in mind that the technology was designed.

The modern “meeting space”

Colleagues are often responsible for collaborating with one another without the ability to physically meet in-person. While this may conjure up memories of the static international video conferences of the past, today’s technology is much more advanced. It eliminates voids between colleagues and enables an inclusive atmosphere, thus creating the modern meeting space.

Equipping meeting rooms with 180° wall-to-wall video coverage gives every team member face time in the conversation. Colleagues across the globe can feel as though they’re in the room and become fully engaged in discussions. As we all know, it’s much easier to hear and respond to someone when you can visually see them speaking. Creating a positive, seamless meeting experience is central in promoting future collaboration among employees.

Establishing connections

This video experience closely resembles how we see the world with our eyes and helps us connect with people instinctively as we can see everyone within the context of the group and understand how the group is interacting in real time, even when we are halfway around the world. Expressions and hand cues are fully visible to convey a deeper understanding of the speaker’s intention.

Furthermore, it helps build trust and constructive relationships among colleagues. Since everyone is in the video picture, there is full transparency and equal participation. This is especially important as 38% of office workers see a lack of preparation as a key obstacle in productive meetings. More accountability will have a paralleled effect on preparation.

Better communication is not just beneficial in the short-term, it can help build long-term employee relationships where everyone can hear and be heard. This is crucial in managing remote employees and making them a part of company culture.

Business learnings

Implementations have shown that effective video conferencing can improve team collaboration and productivity. In fact, we’ve received feedback that meetings that would typically run for an hour were done in 30 to 40 minutes with the use of video technology. That’s a substantial time savings.

Advanced video that leverages AI to correctly detect objects within the field of view also enables an interesting use of data. While in a meeting, this feature captures the speaker and various parts of the room participants may be working in and is harnessed for smarter business operations. For example, it can be used to automate workflows such as room reservations and turning off power-consuming equipment. Looking wider, management can analyze the use of office real estate for decisions around maximizing space and employee productivity.

Evolving culture

Video is becoming a cultural norm. From FaceTime to Skype, most of us are used to conversing through video and are already pleased with the experience. It’s partly because of this consumer adoption that the medium is growing in enterprise use. While some employees may express reluctance to embrace video conferencing, management should feel confident in its benefits.

I predict video will become a vital communication tool for any business with employees collaborating across locations. It’s incredibly powerful that we’re able to conduct productive meetings across offices and oceans, and I am personally looking forward to seeing how video will shape our workflow over the years to come.