A majority of business decision makers believe video conferencing removes distance barriers and improves productivity between teams in different cities and countries, reveals a new study.
According to the “Global View: Business Video Conferencing Usage and Trends” survey of more than 200 business decision makers conducted by Redshift Research and commissioned by Polycom, video conferencing is an essential tool helping improve team collaboration and closing the physical and cultural gap between colleagues doing business across distances.
In the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, international communications (between colleagues in different countries) ranked as the most important use of video conferencing (65 per cent), versus 57 per cent for inter-country communications.
India leads the way in using video conferencing for new business with 60 per cent of respondents saying they use or would use video conferencing for new business. This was followed by Russia and Brazil at 49 and 44 per cent, respectively.
Across the globe, 38 per cent of respondents use video, or would use video, for new business.
The survey found that video is becoming more pervasive in businesses across the globe. When asked to choose their preferred methods of communications today, respondents ranked video conferencing third (47 per cent) after e-mail (89 per cent) and voice/conference calls (64 per cent), and those same business leaders and managers expect video to be their most preferred collaboration tool in three years (52 per cent), followed by e-mail (51 per cent) and voice/conference calls (37 per cent).
Respondents who use video conferencing today said the three biggest advantages are: better collaboration between globally dispersed colleagues (54 per cent), greater clarity of topics being discussed (45 per cent) and more efficient meetings (44 per cent).
Over three quarters of decision-maker respondents (76 per cent) are now using video conferencing at work with 56 per cent of video users taking part in video calls at least once a week.
The survey found that in Brazil, India and Singapore that number jumps up significantly, as more than two-thirds of respondents in those countries use video conferencing at least once a week.
The survey also revealed that 83 percent of respondents, and almost 90 per cent of those in their 20s and 30s, use consumer video conferencing solutions at home today, and almost half of all respondents use video conferencing at home at least once a week.
“The growing popularity of video conferencing at home, especially by millennials entering the workforce, is a big driver of increased preference for and adoption of video collaboration in the workplace,” said Jim Kruger, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer at Polycom. "We’re seeing businesses around the world defy distance every day using video collaboration, including increasing productivity, enhancing employee engagement, improving time to market and helping to save lives.”
The study also showed that laptops and desktops are the most popular devices for business video conferencing (75 per cent of respondents), followed by conference rooms (48 per cent) and mobile devices (42 per cent).
As video conferencing continues to become more pervasive, in three years laptops and desktops are still expected to be the most preferred device (72 per cent), while mobile devices and conference room usage will increase to 55 and 51 per cent, respectively.
CEOs and founders rated flexible working and inter-office/local meetings (50 per cent each) as their top reasons they use or would use video conferencing, followed by international meetings (46 per cent), new business/sales and company/department meetings (39 per cent each).
All respondents, regardless of role, predominantly used video conferencing for inter-office meetings, followed by international inter-office meetings.
Overwhelmingly, respondents said it is important to try and understand different country cultures when meeting using video conferencing (97 per cent) and 89 per cent of respondents called for etiquette rules to be established to help them better use video conferencing for business.