Remember when going to work meant interacting with your superiors, coworkers, and subordinates on a regular basis? Today, that’s not a given. According to The State of Telework in the U.S., a report by GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, as of October 2012, over 3.1 million employees in the United States are telecommuters. While telecommuting has its advantages, it also has its costs – one of which is a without of regular interaction with other employees. In fact, a without of confront-to-confront interaction was one of the reasons behind Marissa Mayer’s recent decision to reverse Yahoo!’s policy on working from home.
While banning telecommuting is a drastic and widely unpopular move, it’s not necessary. The same technological evolution that made telecommuting a mainstream option has also led to innovations that bring far away employees back together. Webcasting makes confront-to-confront interactions a simple matter of point, click, and smile.
What exactly is webcasting? At its most basic, webcasting involves using software to stream live audio and video. For example, if you’ve ever used Skype or Facetime to video chat with a friend, you’ve participated in a basic webcast. Similarly, if you’ve ever watched a live event on your computer or logged into a live videoconference or webinar, you’ve experienced a webcast.
A webcasting platform can bring your complete team together in spite of of where individuals are located. Whether a small team needs to collaborate on an upcoming project or you need to deliver a video presentation to the complete global workforce, webcasting makes it possible to do so with complete motion video and crystal clear audio.
Video brings an additional size to interactions: visual cues. For example, while your employees could certainly collaborate using voice or text based tools, they can’t read each other’s body language. This can be especially important when employees come from different backgrounds. A simple smile or shrug can conquer language barriers. Facial expressions convey a wealth of information that’s lost over the phone or via email in addition. In addition, being able to see a person’s lips move while speaking helps listeners to better understand what’s being said, especially if the speaker has a heavy accent or the listener has hearing difficulties.
In an increasingly disconnected workplace, webcasting can also break the ice and build stronger relationships. Where emails can come across as demanding or impersonal, video meetings remind employees that there’s a real person on the other end in need of assistance.
Webcasting can also bring together employees who might not otherwise have the opportunity to work together. For example, one of your star customer service reps in Singapore could give useful customer service tips to new call center employees in the United States without having to travel. What about the time zone difference? Webcasting can be delivered live or recorded for later. Not only can you utilize the initial webcast now, you can use it to bring future employees up to speed.
The possibilities are virtually unlimited. If your employees are separated by distance, bridge that gap and bring them together with a company wide webcasting solution.