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Why Video Conferencing – Get off the fidget spinner and bring back the yoyo!

Where do you sit within the division of ages? With video conferencing products, you can collaborate with ease and get back to work.

With today’s technology, some might argue that the millennials live in a world of instant stimulation with the use of multiple devices. We are surrounded by a generation that type at the speed of lightning and epitomise the term ‘digital natives’, they have grown up in a world where they are surrounded by technology. Surrounded by technology that has developed at a faster rate than ever before.

Likewise, our younger generation are working amongst the two-fingered typist who recalls touch typing on the typewriter, or the office dinosaur who likes their penmanship and the joy of walking to a desk to share a post-it-note. WARNING a Windows sticky note does not constitute a post-it-note

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Do you miss the ‘clickety clack’ sound of the typewriter? You can go back it in time and install it to your Mac just ‘clickety clack’ here or for Microsoft ‘clickety clack’ here.

We could get into the battle of generations and argue the pro’s for bringing back vinyl or the pro’s of podcasts and downloads. Let’s not battle amongst generations rather collaborate. We are in an environment that has a cross section of early and late adopters of technology. The use of technology is not biased and will touch each of our lives to varying extents. In the business world, the question is very much centred on how can technology improve business, improve staff retention and satisfaction. Video conferencing is a no-brainer when it comes to value add!

Yes, let’s collaborate over video. It’s easy to use, engaging and a dynamic space for all participants.  Video conferencing bridges the divide and provides a meeting space that meets the needs of all generations. It provides users with the ability to meet face-to-face, it provides instant stimuli, it reduces distance and removes the mundane feeling of having the phone glued to your ear. More importantly it provides the ability for business to collaborate and provide a sense of inclusion for all participants.

“We surveyed Fortune 500 executives across the country and found that 80% of them find communication across generations to be a most challenging issue in the workplace. In fact, many businesses are paying more attention to the generation gap now than ever before, and it all seems to boil down to how different generations perceive technology…and use it.”

An article published by Forbes articulately discussed the generational gap with technology. The article highlighted some interesting facts around the variation in the use of technology. However, it does demonstrate that all generations utilise technology, it’s to the extent to which it is used.

According to Forrester Research, 31% of Millennials say they believe their technology at home is better than the technology they have at work, according to Forrester. No wonder they’re now being called Generation “C” – that’s C as in connected. As Millennials grow into leadership roles, the cross-generational workforce becomes more of an obstacle.”

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Understanding the Generational Differences

As if working well with others and learning from daily colleague interactions isn’t challenging enough, business owners and their employees alike are now tasked with trying to close the generation gap … which seems to be a technology gap rather than anything else.

So where does Gen X fit into the business scheme? Well, they aren’t being replaced, not even close, but their work culture may be heading out the door.

A recent Forrester study reveals that Millennials view technology as a critical part of their life and work. They are constantly “on,” and connected. They tend to embrace new technologies for socializing and working, and adapt quickly.

In contrast, Gen X’ers mainly use technology for convenience purposes, such as online banking and shopping. Technology has yet to become central to their social lives, and this will likely remain the case” Eric Savitz, Forbes Staff Guest post written by Scott Weiss Scott Weiss is CEO of Speakeasy, a communications development and executive coaching firm based in Atlanta. Eric Savitz, Forbes Staff  Guest post written by Scott Weiss Scott Weiss is CEO of Speakeasy, a communications development and executive coaching firm based in Atlanta

Why is video conferencing a solution that is for all ages and a great substitute for face-to-face meetings?

Video conferencing provides a means for connecting employees from various ages, skill sets and locations to stay connected, communicate and feel more connected. The benefit of video conferencing is that it is easy to use and is readily adopted in the work world and personal arena.

Moving from audio to video will allow participants to see everything from facial expressions to body language, video conferencing increases understanding, even across language and cultural boundaries. In addition, you can combine with Web conferencing that supports presentations, desktop sharing, mark-up capabilities and Q&A. Video conferencing can be even more effective than in person meetings. No more sending emails back and forth with tracked changes. Web conferencing will enable participants to work on documents in real-time and leave the meeting with new one document, clear actions and knowledge.

No learning curve when it comes to video conferencing!

Video conferencing is a solution that can be placed at the hands of any user. You don’t need to be a propeller head to get started, or to have an excellent user experience. It is truly a solution for all employees and it’s not a big learning curve.

Your business can enhance the usage of video conferencing with the increasing number of younger generations joining our workforce. The younger generation have been raised on technology and it is part of their everyday life. If you have a staff member who is struggling to adopt to technology you have subject matter experts born and bred at your side. Utilise your staff to help others with trouble shooting, and implement it into their daily processes faster than you can probably log in for the first time.

It’s not an insult to the older generation that they may not have the same depth of knowledge. We are working amongst a generation that grew up with instant messaging, texting before they made their first phone call, never having had to wind down their car window, having a digital footprint before graduating high school. Software and applications are a ‘no brainer’ for this new workforce.

Never fear, despite being surrounded by a generation of subject matter experts it’s not that hard. The reality being, video conferencing can easily be assimilated into your workforce and adapted by any staff member. Video conferencing is not ageist. Often, it is our perception that impacts on the adoption of video conferencing.  Using the right product – video conferencing can be seamless and provide an excellent experience. It’s easy with CommuniCloud.

Create a stronger workforce

To get the most from your employees and have them become a stronger part of the workforce, video conferencing can bring them up to speed in no time at all. Make sure you get the best of your meetings and interactions with staff. Video conferencing is increasingly replacing audio calls and it’s increasingly considered as easy as making an audio call. Well it’s easy with the right service. It’s easy with CommuniCloud.

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Bad experience with video conferencing and staff resorting back to audio?

Video conferencing should be easy and safe at the hands of any employee. However, often if a user has a bad experience it is very hard to bring them back. In these situations, make video conferencing easy by selecting the appropriate software and ensure it is utilised appropriately. It’s all in the hands of kicking things off with an employee who is not afraid to use the software. Being able to properly utilise software like video conferencing is that you need to put it into the hands of people who aren’t afraid to use it. Let your early adopters bring your team with you.

A cloud video meeting has become a staple in the business community, offering a quick, convenient way for teams to meet, even when they’re thousands of kilometres apart. As a frequent alternative to in-person meetings, cloud video chatting has redefined what it means to interact with your teammates, streamlining the flow of business no matter how many barriers stand in your way.

While video conferencing is a simple, affordable alternative to physical meetings when your team can’t be in one place, that doesn’t mean you can let your usual meeting etiquette fall by the wayside. These simple mistakes may mean making a mess out of your next cloud video meeting.

Letting ambient noise interfere

Whether you’re telecommuting from home or holding a meeting from your office, it can often be challenging to find a quiet place to get some work done. When you’re hosting a cloud video conference, a place free of ambient sounds is just as important as it is in a physical meeting. If you are in a situation in which you can’t avoid noise, do your best to find a clean, quiet space and make good use of the mute button when you aren’t talking.

Omitting a professional atmosphere

Conference rooms are designed the way they are for a reason: to minimise distractions, facilitate productivity, and keep a gathering on track. A video conference should be no different. No matter where you are, clean up a corner of your workspace and make sure that what the camera sees is organised and free of clutter. Even if your child likes to play on your desk, there’s no need to show that to your team members.

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Dressing poorly

Just because you’re not having a meeting in person doesn’t mean you can’t look your best. While the members in your online meeting may be hours away, they can still see you. Dress appropriately for your meeting, similar to how you would for an in-person meeting. While video may feel more relaxed, that doesn’t mean that your peers won’t be treating it like any other business gathering.

  • Don’t wear clothing with tight patterns.
  • Busy is bad.
  • Checks, hounds-tooth or pin stripes cause an optical illusion that looks bad on video (Since when is houndstooth in? Whoever is currently wearing houndstooth in 2017 should not be allowed on screen!).
  • Don’t wear clothing with bold patterns or geometric shapes. The audience will watch your clothes instead of you.
  • Colours to Avoid – Avoid wearing black, white, bright orange or bright reds. These colours can cause problems on video.
  • For dress shirts, avoid bright white if possible –  Solid-colour shirts are best: blue, beige, off-white, etc. If you wear a bright white shirt or blouse, make sure to wear a darker jacket over it.

I made the rookie mistake of wearing a loose white top. It was a typical morning getting ready for work, I put on a trendy white top, looked in the mirror, I’m looking good! Well, was I wrong! As wrong as an ashtray on a motorcycle! On camera, I was the female version of the marshmallow man! The definition of my arm underneath the lace top was nowhere to be seen. On camera, the width of my arms were in direct competition with the marshmallow man!

Neglecting eye contact

Eye contact over a computer is different than eye contact in a meeting. When you look someone in the face in person, it’s clear what your intentions are. When you look at them in the face over web conference, however, you’re actually looking at their image. In order to maintain the appearance of eye contact, look into your webcam rather than at attendees’ faces. This will give each member of your conference the one-on-one eye contact they deserve.

Texting, eating, or Tweeting

General rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t do it in a face-to-face meeting, don’t do it in an online meeting. Whether you get an important text, are feeling a little hungry, or are bored with the course of the meeting, your distance from your team members isn’t an excuse to neglect normal meeting protocol. Before picking up your phone or heading to the kitchen to microwave lunch, ask yourself whether you’d consider doing the same thing in the conference room with your boss.

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Going in blind

When you hold a meeting in person, you generally prepare for at least an hour or two to make sure things are ready to go. This is also true in online meetings, and the process has one more step: taking care of your technology. Before holding a meeting, make sure your setup is in proper working order, including internet connection and webcam hook-ups. This way, when you get started on your conference, there will be no unwelcome surprises.

Hosting a meeting via webcam can take some extra preparation, but this doesn’t mean a successful video meeting is impossible. By preparing properly, dressing well, setting a professional scene, and making eye contact with your audience, you can keep from making a mess of your next cloud video conference. Ladies don’t forget to do the chin check. Take the time to position the camera before the meeting commences.

Change is coming!

Adoption of new processes will inevitably result in change management and managing the various stages employees are at. Change takes time, and the culture towards change within your business will influence the time it takes to find a state of BAU. Rest assured, we know that across all generations we are constantly increasing our digital literacy and spending greater periods at work and in our personal lives using technology.

In business, you have a wave of staff to support your. This is a generation of SME’s who have most likely spent more time on text, YouTube, Facetime, Skype and IM in a week than their older colleague sitting alongside them has spent during their entire life.

Work better with your team

With our video conferencing solutions team meetings work better than ever – members of your company may not be able to attend a meeting in person but that no longer means you need to hold fire. With our multi video support, content and crystal-clear audio it’s full steam ahead; team meetings can still be fully communicative. Sales demonstrations – keep your business ahead of the curve by exhibiting products or services through video.

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Why have I had a bad experience and why did my staff resort back to audio?

Video Conferencing is easy if you select the appropriate software and ensure it is utilised appropriately. Our service will provide training and support to the most inexperienced and experienced user. At CommuniCloud, our daily value is helping organisations to make meaningful connections with their customers, employees, and stakeholders.

We deliver first class and innovative communication solutions. Our daily value is to ensure adoption amongst your business and excellent user experience. If it doesn’t work first time, chances are staff won’t use it again. Invest in nothing but the best and make sure your team use video services the first time and every time!

As industry influencers, CommuniCloud come out on top for a state-of-the-art video conference. Built for professionals, we make sure to work with the best technology platforms, whether it’s our proprietary InView™ or Prime Time technology to seamlessly bring all participants face-to-face. Our service provides you with the power of a flexible, secure, HD video conference through a first class, subscription based “all you can meet” collaboration.

So what was the point of this blog?

The point being video conferencing is the new audio. Times are changing. Stay up to date in the business world with a necessary change but a change for the better. Irrespective of your workforce demographics you can easily introduce video conferencing and watch the benefits unfold. Your greatest risk is falling behind the times and disconnecting with your business, your clients and customers.

Video conferencing will provide your business with the following key benefits –

  1. No need to travel – reduce the cost and time associated with travel and being offline. Time is money and travel costs money.
  2. Humanises the communication – connect with colleagues and visually engage. Video conferencing changes the body language, conversation and personalises the connection.
  3. Learn and teach online – online courses and education are readily available. Video conferencing is a great way to do this within the educational and business framework. Reduce the number of training sessions, trainers and increase flexibility of when learning is offered to participants.
  4. Connect with anyone anywhere – connect anywhere anytime. You are no longer restricted to working from a typical ‘desk’. You can experience face-to-face collaboration no matter where you work.
  5. Affordable and easy to use – your business will achieve cost savings, productivity increases, and better methods of time management. Furthermore, video conferencing technology is constantly improving and the cost associated with hardware has significantly reduced. Software solutions such as CommuniCloud is an ideal mean of utilising existing infrastructure.
  6. Increased productivity – employees from all areas and sites can connect instantly. Solve problems and workshop from a distance without downtime of waiting for phone calls or return emails.
  7. Employee retention (flexible workforce) – improve staff retention and reduce staff turnover. Provide your staff with flexible work arrangements, greater satisfactions and increase commitment to your business.
  8. Competitive advantage – large, medium to small business with limited resources are benefit from the reach that video conferencing. Video conferencing allows your business to meet more people, access a global supply-chain, collaborate with customers and partners in real-time. Video conferencing will enable your business to utilise technology leverage their competitive advantage.
  9. Convincing your audience by visually sharing your latest product – convince your audience by allowing them to see and believe. With video conferencing, you can engage your audience and showcase your work.
  10. Environmentally friendly – reduce your carbon footprint with reduce travel, taking cards off the road.

CommuniCloud App – one click to join!

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The CommuniCloud mobile application allows conference participants to control aspects of the conference, view presentations from their own mobile device, and participate via video into the conference. In addition, Host participants can:

  • Invite new participants to join the conference
  • Mute and unmute participants
  • Disconnect participants
  • Supported platforms (Video, Voice, and Presentation):
  • Microsoft Windows PC
  • Apple Mac OSX 10.x
  • iOS 8.x or later
  • Android 4.x or later
  • Linux (64Bit and 32Bit)
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