Video conferencing has become an essential part of intelligent office design, thanks to new technology. Today’s modern office offers complete control over lighting, sound, conferencing, and other elements with a single app. For some companies, the concept of seamless video conferencing may generate more questions than answers, and for good reason; there is a lot to know.
What Is Video Conferencing?
Video conferencing is a way for business colleagues to communicate using both voice and video, from anywhere in the world in real time. This is done via a computer network, over which audio and video data is transferred.
Benefits of Video Conferencing Technology
There are several advantages for companies who are thinking about using video conferencing technology, time and money savings being at the top of the list. Colleagues needing to meet don’t have to incur travel costs to visit your office, nor do they have to incur additional costs to reach you on the phone.
Attend from Anywhere
Today’s modern office is one that can be located anywhere. Employees working from home can still attend meetings via video conferencing without having to travel to the office.
Better Communication and Connection
Higher-quality collaboration is yet another benefit of adopting this technology in your office. Being able to make eye contact, read body language, and receive an instant response from colleagues facilitates understanding, which, ultimately, means a richer experience for all.
The face-to-face aspect of video conferencing systems allows your employees and their colleagues to see and hear one another, which can greatly improve the kind of connection that’s integral to successful collaboration and increased efficiency.
Another benefit is that video conferencing can take place at any time. For example, if you have colleagues or clients located in a different time zone, you can schedule a conference time that works for all attendees.
A Step Ahead
Finally, in adopting this technology in your own office and reaping the benefits, you will be able to remain a step ahead of your competitors. How? One example is the instant collaboration that video conferencing offers. In being able to collaborate more effectively, new products can be brought to market sooner.
Now that you know the many benefits of video conferencing, you’ll need to ensure you’re using the right equipment.
Required Equipment for Video Conferencing
There is certain equipment that is required for successful video conferencing. Of course, you will need an internet connection, but there are certain requirements for this as well.
Type of Connection
In order to ensure successful video conferencing, you will need to have a hard-wired ethernet connection. Wi-Fi may be a very convenient means of getting a connection for other purposes, but, where it comes to video, a hard-wired system will result in far fewer crashes than a Wi-Fi connection will.
The setup of your video conferencing software or system, just like any other products your company uses, has to be configured correctly in order to ensure sufficient audio and video quality. Just as with photography, the amount of light in the room will make a big difference to how clearly and easily others can see you.
Whether it’s built in to your computer system or an external connection, your camera should be of high enough quality to clearly capture all who are present at the meeting. Everyone should fit comfortably in a single frame.
Tips for Successful Video Conferencing
A successful meeting goes well beyond simply installing a video conferencing system and turning the camera on; there are several things that should be done before, during, and after the meeting to ensure the experience was positive for everyone.
Email Documents Beforehand
All meeting participants should receive any important documents via email well in advance of the date of the meeting. This will allow plenty of time for review. Important documents also include the agenda of the meeting, which can also be attached to an email.
Elect an Event Chairperson
In order to ensure that the meeting stays on track, it’s a good idea to elect a chairperson or emcee. They can ensure that participants follow the meeting’s agenda, that the correct speaker presents at the correct time, and that there is a question and answer period at meeting’s end.
In order to avoid distraction and confusion that can lengthen your meeting, it’s important to ensure clear communication. This can be done in a number of ways.
First, you’ll want to ensure that each participant speaks clearly and enunciates. Some participants may have a primary language other than English. Also, you’ll want to eliminate as much background noise as possible.
Just as with phone conversations, if you must discuss things with your own group, it’s polite to mute your side of the conference, but, before you do this, let the other participants know you’re going to hit the mute button so that everyone feels included.
Meeting remotely can cause the assumption that it’s okay to wear certain clothing that may not be acceptable at the office. However, regardless of your location, your presence at any company meeting means that you are representing that company. As such, professionalism should guide all of the clothing decisions associated with these meeting.
There are many elements of video conferencing technology that can affect video quality. The output resolution, frame rate, and compatibility are just a few of these elements.
The Right Output Resolution
Every video format has a different output resolution. From a basic standpoint, output resolution determines how clearly attendees at a video conference are able to see one another. In addition to correct output resolution, there are other elements which also need to be correct, such as aspect ratio of the monitors being used in the conference and the compression technique, or codec, employed.
High Frame Rate
The frame rate determines the quality of video in terms of accuracy and smoothness. For example, when incorrect, a video conference can be full of technical annoyances like slow motion, lag, and choppiness.
Incompatibility between a video conferencing system and company computers can result in disaster. That being said, it’s critical to ensure you have the right person or team to ensure that all programming in your intelligent office design is correct and all equipment is compatible.
An All-Around Solution
Having a presence that allows you to engage in video conferencing is just one part of the puzzle. Imagine not only having effortless video conferences but also exactly the right intensity of light along with seamless video presentations. This is exactly what intelligent office design can provide.
When lighting, video, and presentations are seamless, your meeting can become incredibly efficient. For example, you may have encountered issues with operating or troubleshooting equipment when trying to use them during a video conference. The intelligent office makes this a thing of the past.
The intelligent office streamlines all of these processes, Instead of spending hours or days on setup, you can enjoy effortless operation of all aspects of your office, including lighting, video conferencing, and presentations.
Compatibility and Features
The solution you choose needs to be able to integrate seamlessly with your current system. This means knowing and understanding the technical requirements of the video conferencing systems you are considering.
Along with compatibility, you will need to consider the features offered by a particular solution. It’s true that many products offer a suite of basic features. However, these need to be evaluated to ensure they will provide what you need.
Regardless of the solution you’re thinking about purchasing, you’ll need to think about whether the product will provide you with a return on investment. This means considering the costs of having the equipment and/or possibly spending on additional hardware or upgrades throughout its lifespan.
The Right Provider
Every company’s needs will differ. Therefore, it makes sense to identify what your company needs in terms of video conferencing software and/or intelligent office solutions. Things to know before you begin your search include:
- Average number of video conferencing participants
- Preferred video quality
- Your reasons for using video conferencing, and what you hope to achieve via its use
The right provider will be able to tell you exactly which products will fit best with your needs and will be able to thoroughly explain them to you. AVDG has been making technology accessible to companies since 1999; call 888-505-1922 to learn more about the solutions we offer.