Enterprise workers understand video communication benefits, but usage is still low


Video communication may have become popular in the consumer world, but in the enterprise? Not so much. Even people who are using video for communicating in a professional manner aren't doing so all that often, according to the results of a survey conducted by Microsoft Skype for Business partner ConnectSolutions.

The firm surveyed 554 U.S. workers and found that 41 percent are currently using video as a collaborative tool in the workplace. However, of that 41 percent, 57 percent are relying on it less than once a month.

According to ConnectSolutions, the issue may be one of clinging to old habits. Although video is relatively easy to use on a mobile phone, enterprise usage historically has come in the form of videoconferences and training sessions. Most video sessions (81 percent) are scheduled in advance, and only nine percent of the respondents indicated they initiate the sessions themselves.

Even in the mobile realm, only 19 percent of respondents said they used video for collaboration in a business environment.

Outside of video-focused organizations (Lifesize and Blue Jeans Network come immediately to mind), increasing video communications adoption seems to be a problem. Reports indicated in the past that it's still primarily a tool of the executive suite – an issue that video vendors are struggling with.

According to ConnectSolutions, though, the average worker isn't camera shy. When a video option is available, 47 percent said they turn on their webcams when others do and 13 percent do it regardless. Still, a third of respondents resist using their webcams; and eight percent resent it when they're asked to turn their webcams on.

Most workers believe there is value in video, whether it's reducing travel (51 percent), faster communications (46 percent) or the ability to form stronger relationships (31 percent). Impromptu video sessions still appear to be few and far between for the average worker, though.

"The close, on-the-fly collaboration you get with video can have a tremendous impact on worker productivity and the organization's ability to compete," said Christopher Martini, vice president of Skype for Business at ConnectSolutions, in a statement. "Unfortunately for many, video is something you respond to rather than initiate. But while workers have been slow in unlocking video's potential, the tech is there and workers are ready to use it. They simply need to be shown how."

For more:
- read the press release

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