Agile working is becoming an increasingly prevalent phenomenon at every level of industry. Seen not just in tech companies that are renowned for their innovation and drive forward, but right the way through to traditional companies, agile working is seemingly the future of the workforce. In our last blog we looked at how consumers are demanding more than ever, having become far more discerning. However, this is not just limited to their role as a consumer, but as an employee too – particularly with the rise of the millennial generation who by 2020 will form 50% of the global workforce (according to a recent report by PWC) and who have a radically different expectation of their work-life balance than the preceding generation.
Whereas previously professionals would remain at a company for a lifetime, steadily rising through the ranks, millennials have far higher expectations and a subconscious understanding that after a few years they can move on. In fact, according to the same report carried out by PWC, only 18% of millennials in full time employment expect to stay with their current employer long-term. Not only that, but an interesting shift in priorities too – millennials rank flexi-time as a factor that exceeds the importance of cash bonuses in choosing a job. As freelance work spaces have come to dominate the professional landscape, millennials have been exposed to an alternative to working 9-5 and they have aggressively adopted this policy.
This sort of activity would simply be impossible to maintain without video conferencing – which allows for a far more agile workforce who are able to stay in contact and work from any device and location. Boasting a consistent quality, speed and connection wherever you are in the world, it allows for a far more flexible workforce who can benefit hugely from the advance in technology.
Not only that, but thanks to video conferencing it is possible to absolutely streamline a business. Instead of dedicating resources to hiring, monitoring and motivating staff – businesses can instead rely upon freelancers on a revolving basis. Instead of dedicating operational costs to retaining a staff member who may easily become demotivated or may require training, businesses can seek out the most talented and creative individuals and use them as and when necessary. This creates a far more agile and powerful working process that can harness the power of the best talent regardless of location. The potential power of this has yet to be fully explored – allowing businesses to not only cut costs, but also hire the people most suited to supporting their clients and developing their business. This leads to businesses that are far leaner, far slicker and more centered around the consumer rather than central bureaucracy.
Video conferencing also acts as an invaluable infrastructure in any business. As a dependable and steadfast service, video conferencing is easy to track – providing a breakdown of costs that can be easily monitored and predicted. This means no time is wasted attempting to decipher and unravel complicated telephony bills, which can prove to be an unexpected strain of resources and one that is wholly unnecessary. Instead, businesses will receive one bill, not only that but given that video conferencing is so simple to maintain it requires little from IT departments – allowing them to focus far more on the client side.
Easing the stress of internal demands, both in terms of people and infrastructure, video conferencing is continuing to reform the way CEOs think about their business. Inspiring businesses to innovate and adapt, it saves senior management time whilst allowing for the recruitment process to be far more focused on talent and suitability rather than training and motivating. Beyond the rich advantages it can present to senior management and HR, it also frees up the IT team – allowing them to focus far more on research and development and creating fresh and inventive software that can drive business forward and ensure they continue to work on breaking new ground with consumers.
Of course, it is not just millennials who benefit from video conferencing, but also those whose job role requires vast amounts of travelling. For industries like financial services, where travelling long distances, occasionally to remote and distant areas, is a necessity, there needs to be a supportive system that means wherever they are, they are able to remain in constant contact with both their management team, staff and clients. With video conferencing, travelling never needs to be an impediment to ensuring a streamlined and efficient business that not only seeks out new business, but also helps to support current clients.
That consistent support is extremely important – as clients now assume a 24/7 support system, with smart phones rendering fixed work times obsolete, being on call at all times has never been so important – particularly for those within the financial services industry who must rapidly respond to even the smallest shifts in the economy. Thanks to video conferencing there never needs to be delay. Offering a solution that works from everywhere, it removes the challenges of a faulty line or of being out of contact. What is really exciting about this particular benefit is the unexplored potential. With Wi-Fi on planes now only just starting to be introduced, employees (in particular those at a senior level) will have the ability to stay in constant contact – even travelling at 30,000 feet could offer an additional boost to the appeal of video conferencing, allowing professionals to remain in contact at all times and making travelling far less of a hindrance.
This mobility is not just true of employees in their current job, but also helpful as they look to move their career forward. With video conferencing becoming integrated at every level of a business, it is a tremendously powerful tool that requires little or no training. Not only that, but it is also extremely easy to add another user to current software, meaning that when hiring new employees, they will immediately have an in-depth knowledge of video conferencing and the understanding how to use it, whilst also allowing employees to seamlessly integrate their new team member through the simple click of a button.
There is no doubt that video conferencing is a phenomenally useful tool that can serve to improve our current workforce mobility – offering employees the opportunity to work wherever they are in the world whilst their employers can be assured that even in adopting flexi time approaches, they have the tools to remain in contact and up to date.