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Video Conferencing Is the New Email

Email was once hailed as the top form of business communications. Only a couple of years ago, business professionals averaged 6.3 hours a day sending and receiving email messages. Today, however, a new type of business communications is surging for the same reasons that email reigned for more than two decades — convenience and efficiency. As small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) adapt to an all-remote workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic, video conferencing is emerging is one of the most practical and effective ways to connect.

More SMBs Today Are Using Video Meetings

Without in-person interactions, remote workers are dependent on phone, email, chat, and video conferencing to communicate. Video, however, is seeing the biggest surge right now. The reality is, video meetings offer something that the other channels can’t — face-to-face connections. It may be virtual, but with a high-quality, feature-rich video conferencing platform, participants are able to communicate just like they would in the office.

As remote work continues even after the pandemic wanes, the question is, will this mass adoption of video conferencing lead to a shift away from email as the most common, everyday way to communicate at work?

In a recent survey, Intermedia found that 84 percent of SMBs are relying on video conferencing during the pandemic. This is a 27 percent increase — about 57 percent of small and mid-sized business owners were using video for meetings before the coronavirus outbreak. And, it’s the largest jump of any communication channel, including chat, phone, and email.

Why Video Conferencing Use Is Rising Faster Than Other Channels

Recent research reveals that demand for video conferencing apps skyrocketed in March. During the third week in that month, enterprise-focused mobile app downloads hit an all-time high at 62 million. What’s telling is the size of the jump — when compared to pre-coronavirus weekly download averages, downloads of business apps, including video conferencing and productivity and communication tools, are up 90 percent!

There are a few reasons video is rising above audio conferencing, messaging apps, and email for everyday work communications.

  • Video is more engaging than audio and written communications – People are less likely to try and multitask during a video conference because everyone can see each other. It’s also more engaging when you can see other participants while talking or listening.
  • Video conferencing is efficient – Participants can simply join the meeting when it starts and exit the meetings once it’s done, or when being in the meeting no longer adds value to their workday.
  • Video provides non-verbal cues – These cues enhance communication. Listeners rely on visual cues to better understand what a speaker is saying, while the speaker uses these non-verbal cues to verify if their message is getting across. According to a Forbes research survey, 78 percent of respondents said video conferencing is more effective than audio conferencing.
  • Video keeps us connected – One downside of remote work is the lack of human interaction. Video conferencing is the next best thing to face-to-face communications for keeping teams connected and ensuring everyone is supported and included in work conversations.

If Remote Work Is Here to Stay, What Does That Mean for Business Communications?

The work-from-home model wasn’t created overnight. A lot of companies were already operating with a partial or full remote workforce before 2020. The COVID-19 outbreak has simply sped up an already existing trend, and now more than half of business owners expect remote work to continue after the crisis is over.

One upside is, with more remote workers, more companies are having the chance to experience how effective video meetings can be. Moving forward, it’s important to ensure your business is getting the most out of your video conferencing solution so you can enjoy all the benefits of this communication channel.

Video conferencing offers some respite from the long-term social isolation but it’s also proving to be a seamless way to communicate and stay productive. With the right video conferencing tool for your business, your teams can connect from anywhere securely, enjoy high-quality HD video streaming, and hold fully functioning meetings with essential tools such as screen sharing, screen annotations, and easy recording. You can also integrate the software with your existing business applications including Slack and Microsoft Outlook.

Explore Intermedia AnyMeeting video conferencing software and find out how easy it is to stay productive while working remotely with video.

About Darcy Mekis