For years conference calls were heralded as the next big thing. Yet, though their importance gradually increased, year by year, they never became as pervasive as you might have imagined. That was until the global pandemic. With everyone forced to stay locked away, safe in their homes, video conferencing became the go-to way to communicate. Not just for family and friends, but businesses too.
Nor is the software likely to disappear when the pandemic has passed, and lockdowns are a distant memory. Many employees have expressed a desire to continue working from home, at least on a part-time basis. Therefore, conferencing calling will remain more important than ever for businesses. Here is why!
The New Hub
Once there was the meeting room, the conference centre, or indeed the bars and restaurants. Each, in their way, was a vital hub for business activity. Work was discussed, proposals were made, contracts signed. However, in a flash, these weren’t viable any longer.
Conference calls are the new communication hub in the business landscape. Versatile and innovative in their potential, they allow businesses to adapt to whatever needs come their way. If a client wants a presentation from one of your teams: it’s done. If you need a quick internal chat, don’t worry about it. Or, if you need to discuss a weekly project update, everyone can join in and contribute.
Ease of Communication
As a communication tool, a conference call is unmatched. With both a voice call that’s clearer and crisper than on the telephone, as well as video services, businesses have a plethora of options available to them. On a video call, participants also have access to each participant’s body language. Nonverbal communication is an essential part of excellent communication, which can never be conveyed over the phone. Therefore, a video call is the next best thing. It helps prevent confusion and miscommunication.
In many ways, the transfer over to video conferencing has been a blessing in disguise for businesses. Gone are the days of the frequent flyer: the jet-setting businessperson. Aside from being environmentally unfriendly, it also costs a small fortune. Now with the click of a button, you can converse with people wherever they are in the world.
Besides, while we might once have all commuted to a large spacious office every morning, with conferencing calling and other software being available, there isn’t any need. If the pandemic has proved anything, it’s that business can still be run smoothly from the comfort of home. As a result, the office can be reduced in size, or even done away with entirely. This will cut business overheads, improving their profit margin, particularly crucial in this economically challenging time.
Mix It Up
Alongside regular video calling, conferencing software has a multitude of different features. Each ensures hosting a call is easier than ever. Screen sharing helps a team demonstrate their work to each other. Or it can allow various presenters to switch seamlessly when meeting with a client. Before laptops would have had to have been unplugged and replugged, slides sent in advance with all the accompanying technological hassle. With screen sharing, it’s never been so easy to collaborate.
Next, use a virtual whiteboard to explain critical concepts: sketching out your ideas or brainstorming with the team. Everyone at home will be able to follow along as you draw out the discussion. Plus, at the end of the meeting, take a screenshot and send it to all attendees.
One of the few downsides of conference calls is the home backdrop. We don’t always have time to tidy away all the clutter. Nor do we want people peering into our homes and passing judgment. Thankfully, there’s a solution: the virtual backdrop – particularly useful with Zoom. Manage zoom virtual backgrounds, using the extensive choices available at Hello Backgrounds. So, whether you want to appear in a swanky office or stylish apartment: the choice is yours.
Being cooped up at home, either during a pandemic or in future as a remote worker, can feel isolating. The conference call can bridge the divide, enabling people to stay connected with their colleagues. However, it will take a new managerial skill set to ensure everyone stays focused and engaged, as it is easy to slip into a back seat, on meetings and projects. But, when used right, it is an incredible tool for improved productivity and efficiency.
The Whole Wide World
Once upon a time, a business’ potential clients might have encompassed only their city or their state/country. Today, with video conferencing, companies can take full advantage of a globalised world. Information about your products can be established via social media. Then, via conference calls, businesses can meet and discuss orders with prospective clients. With the entire world at your fingertips, the potential for growth and expansion has never been greater.
So, use the full limits of the software. Tailor the product to your needs. Innovate and create. One thing is sure: conferencing calling is here to stay!