In just the last decade, we’ve seen video conferencing technology make tremendous strides in the workplace. As remote work grew 159% between 2005 and 2017, video conferencing came along for the ride, with an estimated 58% of businesses now using video conferencing for their everyday operations. And as organizations around the world increasingly embrace distributed workforces, that momentum is only going to continue.
What can we expect to see this year in terms of video conferencing innovations? Here are some trends to look out for:
1. User experience will be a key focus for video meetings
Tools like FaceTime and WhatsApp are some of the most widely used video calling tools in the consumer market today. What makes them so popular? They’re easy to use. Just one tap of a button and you’re connected to people anywhere in the world. This focus on the user experience is trickling into the professional world.
Organizations (and their employees) are going to move towards video conferencing solutions that offer the best user experience. For example, if you had to spend several minutes digging through your emails or team messaging app for a meeting ID (and possibly password), you’d be more than frustrated. Meetings should be quick to prepare for and effortless to join.
When it comes to video, organizations will move towards solutions that make video conferencing as easy as starting a FaceTime call and as feature-rich as a professional meeting. Browser-based video solutions like RingCentral Video allow users to join meetings with colleagues and customers with just the click of a link. No need to download and maintain apps or set up any meeting IDs. Everything lives in browsers so users can jump straight into the conversation.
2. Video quality will be critically important
As distributed workforces and video conferencing continue to grow in the enterprise, having video quality that’s just “good enough” isn’t going to cut it. Employees (especially remote workers) need to connect with their colleagues and customers in a way that replicates in-person interactions. Video quality is key to achieving that.
Going forward, HD video and audio will become the standard for video conferencing. We might also begin to see initial testing of UHD (ultra-high-definition) 4K video meetings, as computer and mobile displays—as well as internet performance—are starting to support that resolution.
3. Video meetings will see more integrations with productivity tools
With the average business meeting running about an hour, the cost of ineffective meetings to an organization can add up very quickly. In addition to the financial costs ($37 billion in the US alone), a recent survey showed that poorly organized meetings can lead to consequences like lost time, confusion, loss of focus, slow progress, and even weakened client/supplier relationships.
While there are many non-technical ways employers can improve the productivity of their meetings, like setting clear objectives and having an agenda, we will likely see more video meeting solutions offering integrations with productivity tools to help their users do more in less time. For instance, features like transcription, video clipping, file sharing, translation, and integrations with productivity apps can help users quickly and efficiently share knowledge and kick-start ideas produced in video meetings into action.
4. Video meetings will have enhanced security and privacy features
While privacy and security are top priorities for any organization, as video conferencing increases in popularity and we start to see widespread adoption in industries like healthcare or law, we will likely see more solutions offering innovative ways to protect their users’ data and communications against fraud and abuse.
For example, RingCentral provides Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol (SRTP) encryption between all endpoints to prevent interception. We also offer other security features like firewalls and session border controllers, multiple authentication levels, intrusion-detection systems and fraud analytics, monitoring, system hardening, and vulnerability scans.
5. Gamification will be incorporated into video meetings
Gamification is the process of incorporating game design elements like activities, points, badges, and rewards into a non-game context. It’s been growing in popularity over the past few years, and we can definitely see more companies implementing gamification into their video meetings to help boost employee engagement and drive productivity.
Employers could divide their employees into small groups and then have them collaborate on an activity virtually in a video meeting by using screen sharing and annotation functions. They could also implement a system where employees earn points for attendance or being the first person to check in to a meeting.
The future of meetings
One prediction we can all agree on is that video conferencing will continue to transform the global workforce. As remote work grows and more meetings are held online, video communications will be a huge focus for organizations going forward. Make sure your organization is ready to adapt.
Want to learn more about why video conferencing is becoming increasingly important for businesses? Check out “Why Video Is Essential to Collaboration for Today’s Remote Workers.”