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Whenever I’m part of a conversation about workshifting, the topic of communication comes up. Business leaders know being able to find the right communication systems is an imperative. Any workshifting solution must address the issue of effective business communications.

That’s why I wanted to share with you a recent article I found on the use of video conferencing in the workplace. The article, from Human Capital Magazine based out of Australia, talks about the advances and advantages of using video conferencing for business. As an HR pro, I found the article particularly interesting since it was written from an HR perspective.

Conceptually, we know that using video can save travel time and expenses. And, we’ve seen how technology advances have improved video quality while making it extremely affordable. So it was fascinating and perplexing to see the data from Citrix research indicating a low adoption rate with Australians. For example, here are some highlight statistics:

  • Only 26% of Australians use shared phone lines to work, compared to 49% of British workers
  • Only 13% of Australians use video conferencing, with almost half insisting on organizing face-to-face meetings
  • 83% of Australians prefer to meet in person to build trust

Another statistic I found particularly interesting was that 45% of Australians insist on face-to-face team meetings. Only one country meets more often – Americans (51%). The article goes on to ponder how culture may have an impact when it comes to the adoption of business systems.

There’s been a lot of conversation, particularly over the past couple of years, that technology advances are requiring us to stretch our minds and our skillsets. Is it possible that technology will also ask us to move away from or adapt our cultural beliefs?

Incorporating video technology will require considerations not only in terms of systems implementation and financial cost analysis, but an examination of culture. Educating participants on the dynamics of video and how to interpret an employee’s participation (i.e., body language, facial expressions and voice inflexion) will be keys to the success of using video communications.

Are you using video communication in your organization? How does it compare to in-person communications?

Photo Credit: Citrix Online

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  • http://twitter.com/eyece dan holt

    Why does it have to be so technical. Why does there have to be not only systems implementation and financial cost analysis, but an examination of culture. If your hiring people that you don’t think you trust enough to be on a video conference call from the office, the coffee shop, the home office, or the bar, then why the hell did you hire them in the first place. Yes, Video as well as a lot of other work shifting ideas are going to be implemented and sorted through in this major tech transition but it doesn’t have to be so complicated. Just do it. Don’t run stats around it for months wondering if it’s a good idea or not. Your wasting time while the company that just goes for it is ahead of you 4 steps.

  • jarrington

    Great information – I tried a number of video conferencing services, and ended up going with VIA3 – no big hardware sink for us, and we were up and running in 15 minutes. I think they have a free trial at http://www.via3.com, if you are looking for a good solution. It also seems to be the most secure of all of the software based solutions.