In a Pandemic, Business Videoconferencing Keeps It Personal
Traditionally, in-person business meetings are where relationships are built and deals are struck. But as organizations deal with the threat of COVID-19, they’re limiting personal contact between employees, customers, and vendors. The risk is that business social distancing could hinder productivity and have a detrimental effect on business growth. Suddenly, business leaders like you are faced with a terrible choice - keep your employees safe and healthy or try to maintain peak business performance.
But what if you could choose both?
The good news is most operations can continue uninterrupted and people can still meet face to face by using a familiar tool more often: business videoconferencing. Nearly 60% of employers have already increased their flexibility for employees to work from home (WFH) and tools such as videoconferencing help to keep business meetings personal and productive. In fact, videoconferencing solutions like Mitel Teamwork, included with MiCloud Connect, can keep the lines of communication open, keep employees safe, and keep business performance up – even if the office itself is nearly empty.If you’re not already on the videoconferencing circuit, take a look at our top three reasons why this communications technology is smart preventative medicine for your business. Plus, learn four steps you can take to make sure your business is ready to weather any storm.
3 Reasons Videoconferencing is the Best Medicine for Business
1. Sick Employees Can Stay Home and Not Miss Out
Of course, if you’re sick, the rule of thumb is to stay home. But in cases such as COVID-19, when symptoms may be mild or even non-existent, extra precautionary measures are in order. Employees should stay out of the office at the first sign of illness or even exposure to someone who is sick.
Videoconferencing technology is a great option to keep employees who are quarantined connected. After all, employees with only a slight cough or mild symptoms may still feel up to working. The same if they’re just caring for a sick family member or staying home because they know they’ve been exposed. The ability to join a video call with the single click of a button makes it easy to check in with customers or partners, resolve urgent issues, and keep business personal. Employees can be present, meet face to face with colleagues, and continue to work productively as part of the team.
2. Healthy Workers Avoid Contamination
Many companies are encouraging employees to work remotely, even if they’re not sick. It’s simply one of the most effective ways to make sure they stay well and to contain COVID-19. Twitter recently announced it’s encouraging all employees to work from home if they have the capability, and the company is optimizing work so it can be performed remotely. Similarly, a record number of company transcripts referenced “work from home” or “working from home” in February.Business videoconferencing plays a huge role in effective remote working and features such as screen sharing makes it feel as though you’re sitting right next to co-workers without having to worry about catching their cold, or something worse.
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3. The Need for Travel and In-Person Meetings Is Reduced
Travel restrictions are a given, since planes and trains foster too much physical contact and create breeding grounds for contamination. That in-person client meeting just isn’t going to happen right now. Videoconferencing makes that face-to-face encounter possible without the travel and while keeping your employees and customers safe. Plus, using video rather than just a phone call shows your customers how much you value their business. It keeps the meeting more personal and engaging, encouraging collaboration and communication.
Companies are also using videoconferencing to replace large gatherings such as in-person conferences and workshops. For instance, Facebook just announced the cancellation of a developers’ conference. Instead, the social media giant plans to use video and streaming content to encourage the exchange of ideas and information among its developer community.
Harvard Business Review found that 47% of employers will be canceling planned conferences for North American employees in selected countries. Those events could be replaced instead with video conferences.
4 Steps to Disaster Preparedness with Videoconferencing
1. Implement Video Technology Before You Need It
Healthy organizations should already have videoconferencing technology in place as part of a well-rounded disaster preparedness plan. If your company is still thinking about whether you need videoconferencing, time is of the essence. Look for a vendor who can set up your system quickly and seamlessly, such as Mitel. An intuitive system makes it easy for employees to jump right in and start having video meetings as soon as possible, regardless of circumstances.
2. Invest in the Right Business Videoconferencing Technology
Not all videoconferencing technology is created equal, especially when you’re relying on video during national or global emergencies. A reliable provider can support high demand when the majority of your workforce is working remotely. Mitel Teamwork, included with MiCloud Connect, is built on Google Cloud and supports superior reliability, security, and scalability. Rich features such as screensharing and single click-to-join will keep your employees engaged and increase efficiency. Mix-and-match pricing allows you to add features as needed or adapt to changing demand.
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3. Develop A Culture of Video Calls
Some people need a little time to get used to working from home and being on a video call. They may be accustomed to staying in their PJs while at home or it may seem unusual to conduct what is normally an in-person meeting via video.
The best way around this is to make video a regular part of the meeting process, even when infection is not an issue. Perhaps your standing weekly meeting becomes a video-conference once a month or your typical audio conference call gets upgraded to video. Regular usage helps everyone become more comfortable with how to use the technology and how to behave.
4. Train Employees on Usage and Etiquette
Speaking of usage and behavior, there are a few key points to keep in mind. First and foremost, videoconferencing should not be difficult. Even a powerful solution with advanced features and functionality should be simple to operate. It’s still important to train employees, but the right solution doesn’t come with a steep learning curve. In fact, you may have to spend more time on etiquette training than on product usage with Mitel Teamwork.Key principles to keep in mind include dressing appropriately, staying focused on the meeting, and not eating while on a video call. If everyone follows basic etiquette rules, video meetings will be productive and positive.
Keep It Personal with Business Videoconferencing
No one likes being sick, and the uncertainty of where and when the Coronavirus will strike next has us all on edge. But a powerful and robust collaboration tool with business videoconferencing from Mitel keeps employees, customers, and clients happy and healthy and makes it easy to get work done from anywhere.
See for yourself how Mitel Teamwork keeps business personal, connected, and productive even during uncertain times.
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Source: From the Experts at Mitel