The world has entered into another year of the global pandemic, and there’s no doubt that the effects of COVID-19 have changed the working landscape indefinitely.
In the beginning, businesses had to react swiftly to provide their workforce with all the tools necessary to facilitate remote working. Both employers and employees had to adapt quickly to a new way of working and communicating, and video conferencing software made that possible.
Now that remote working is here to stay, many companies are opting to offer their employees a choice of two scenarios: to continue working remotely, or to choose a hybrid working model of working both remotely and in the office.
But no matter which option is chosen, video conferencing has become a vital tool for businesses to successfully adapt to these new working models.
Growth of the video conferencing market
The growth of the video conferencing market from 2019 to now has been phenomenal.
According to GlobeNewswire, the value of this market doubled from $3.85 billion in 2019 to $7.87 billion in 2020, when the pandemic began. And there’s no sign of it slowing down as economists estimate that it will have grown to $9 billion by the year 2026.
So now, as businesses are finding their feet with this ‘new normal’, the priority is to improve the working experience for employees operating remotely, while streamlining communication channels between this group and those in the office.
According to a survey by Owl Labs in 2020, 79% of workers feel that video conferencing is at the same level or more productive than in-person meetings. This statistic shows that employees can be just as productive – if not more so – when working remotely.
When you go one step further and take physical location out of the equation, this can create new possibilities for businesses.
How video conferencing has opened up new possibilities for rural communities
In 2021, plans were announced to create 400 remote working hubs as part of a five-year rural development policy in Ireland. The idea is that vacant buildings in rural towns will be transformed into remote working hubs, which will encourage employees and employers to explore the option of rural remote working.
Ireland’s Rural and Community Development Minister, Heather Humphreys, stated: “The move to remote, or connected working, has the potential to transform rural Ireland. It will help to sustain and increase the population of rural areas and revitalise town centres.”
These developments serve as further proof that the video conferencing market will continue to grow, as this software is essential for the successful rollout of remote working and hybrid working models.
With that, it’s time for businesses to invest in the equipment and network to support their video conferencing software.
The benefits of video conferencing for SMEs
There are huge benefits for SMEs that have embraced the rapidly advancing technology of video conferencing.
Firstly, using video conferencing can be hugely cost-effective for small businesses, as they can save money on office overhead expenses, with employees working remotely instead of coming into large office spaces.
Savings in travel costs should also be taken into consideration, with remote workers able to communicate efficiently with their team leads and customers, while following up on customer leads without having to physically travel to locations.
Faster, more efficient communication
Secondly, with a more streamlined communication channel, projects can progress quicker as business owners can easily update team members on the status of a task or project and get it completed more efficiently by using video conferencing tools.
Video conferencing can also encourage collaboration between team members working remotely and in the office.
Staff development has also been positively impacted. Depending on whether a business is operating a fully remote or hybrid working model, video conferencing tools have enabled employees working remotely to engage with their co-workers in the office throughout the day.
This has meant that employees can also take part in staff training sessions by using the interactive features of video conferencing tools.
Time used more productively
With countless surveys highlighting increased productivity levels as observed by both employees and employers, it’s clear that time spent travelling to and from work can now be spent more productively and video conferencing has made this possible.
Better interaction with clients
In the current economic climate, there’s an expectation of businesses to have the technology in place for team members to be able to interact with their clients, regardless of their location. It’s all about meeting client expectations.
Using some of the more interactive features of video conferencing tools, such as screen sharing and whiteboard capabilities, can prove essential when closing that sale.
Videoconferencing is the future
The reality for many small businesses as they head into 2022, is that remote working is here to stay and in order to survive, businesses will have to invest in improving their video conferencing equipment and technology so that communication can be seamless and more importantly, consistent, for team members and clients alike.
What is needed for video conferencing?
In a nutshell, the vital component of seamless video conferencing is strong, stable, and secure broadband, and this is where One Contact can help. Business Broadband from One Contact is purpose-built for business use, designed specifically to cater for the advanced connectivity demands of modern businesses.
Offering Business Broadband packages of up to 10GBs, One Contact’s broadband delivers unmatched reliability and performance. Strong broadband is particularly essential for businesses with remote workers who may be based in rural areas.
With increased risks of cyber-attacks, having a secure network in place with business broadband is now a huge priority for businesses. One Contact can provide secure enterprise connectivity with true live monitoring at an affordable price, even for smaller businesses.
One Contact understands that having a reliable network is vital for businesses, particularly in this current climate. With One Contact’s Business Broadband, businesses can have that peace of mind knowing that there’s an expert support team ready to prevent any downtime or connectivity issues, especially during those important video conferencing calls.
It is clear that video conferencing will continue to play a crucial role in the growth and development of businesses for the foreseeable future. However, in order for companies to fully capitalise on the benefits of video conferencing, they need to have Business Broadband that is strong, secure and stable to support it.
Get in touch with One Contact today to enquire about how Business Broadband could enhance your remote working capabilities and grow your business.