I was browsing online while having my first coffee of the day when a headline caught my attention. It read: ‘Most workers don’t have desktop video and don’t want it, report says‘. Of more than 5,400 businesspeople surveyed, 72% don’t want desktop video, and even if they did, they don’t have much access to it, says a new Forrester report called ‘Information Workers Are Not Quite Ready for Desktop Videoconferencing‘. The rest either already use it or would like to, the report says.
I found this intriguing because in many ways I can associate and empathize with this. There are benefits of being in virtual meetings where one can fully engage, interact and participate without being seen. I can multi-task (possibly a dangerous claim for a male), walk around, snack, and essentially have the opportunity to behave in ways which may not be appropriate in more formal, office based environments.
However, other research has indicated that one of the big challenges with holding virtual meetings is the frequently cited concern of not being able to see the other people participating. The inability to see and gauge people’s reactions to ideas and discussions is understandably a concern. Body language is known to be an important part of interacting with each other and forms part of our emotional intelligence. Face to face (f2f) is important and necessary to build trust and develop meaningful business relationships.
With ongoing double digit growth forecast over the next few years in web conferencing, it seems clear that virtual meetings are increasing and more people can expect to participate in such activity than ever before. There is the recognition that f2f is important and desirable. Yet according to the report mentioned above, people apparently don’t want to use video conferencing to enable this. This is the paradox!
What do you think?
Photo Credit: ismaSan