While the mode of communication changes, the need for effective business communication remains constant. Businesses are becoming more international, with employees scattered across different time zones and even continents.
The ubiquity of mobile technology makes it possible to be reachable wherever you are on whatever device you have at any hour. Despite these advancements in our communication ability, businesses still rely heavily on face-to-face interactions during meetings and conferences.
For years, voice has been an integral part of workplace communication but is often too costly or impractical to use over long distances. Now, more than ever before, there are new ways to be up close and personal without being physically present, especially with online conference calls.
Online conference calls make it easier to be part of a conversation without traveling than ever before.
What is an Online Conference?
An online conference call enables people from different geographical locations to have a virtual meeting from anywhere they can connect through the internet. It’s equivalent to being in the same room with all your co-workers or clients as you discuss business matters, share information, and gather feedback.
In some cases, it may even be more practical than gathering everyone physically together because there would be no need for transportation or making arrangements for childcare.
But regardless of whether one person dials in on their smartphone while on the way home from work or everyone gathers around a speakerphone or computer monitor during working hours, this is not your parents’ conference call.
Unlike older telephone conferencing, where each participant had to be on the phone simultaneously, online conferences allow participants to dial in at their convenience instead of making a call during set business hours.
This means that businesses can now hold virtual meetings whenever they need them without needing everyone’s participation all at once. If someone has to dial in late or misses a meeting entirely, it is possible to join in via an audio or video feed from another computer rather than missing out altogether.
More importantly, you won’t have to rely on old-fashioned technologies like speakerphones and homing pigeons as much as ever before, and that’s good news for everyone involved.
Benefits of Online Conference Calling to Business Success
Business people of all stripes can save time and money with online conference calls. Here are ten benefits of online conferencing that have been shown to increase productivity, promote collaboration and nurture business relationships.
Smaller businesses, in particular, may experience a boost in productivity because they no longer need to wait for co-workers who happen to be traveling on the same route or catching the same flight. There is no chance of missing a connection with virtual meetings due to bad weather or long security lines at the airport.
In addition, it’s now possible for employees from different departments or even different companies located across the to participate in daily standup meetings from wherever they are. Remote employees can still ring in from home and be a part of the conversation without a driving, bike, or flying into work that day.
When you’re participating in a conference call from your car during your commute home, at least you won’t have to rush through dinner with the family to make it on time for an important meeting! As a result, everyone is more relaxed and productive when there’s no chance of being late or leaving early because of transportation issues.
There is less pressure to focus 100% on what someone else is saying with online conferencing. People can re-listen if they missed something or take notes as everyone talks. The ability to follow up after the meeting with email, chat, or text messages add to the feeling of collaboration.
More Time for Creativity:
There’s more time for creative problem-solving and brainstorming during meetings when no one gets bogged down in travel time or working through lunch.
Group members scattered around the world don’t have to attempt to communicate by sharing lengthy documents via UPS or FedEx overnight delivery. With internet conferencing, everyone can access slides at their convenience, mark them up and share feedback without anyone wasting money on fuel to get it across town or an ocean!
Increased Personal Relationships:
The excitement of face-to-face projects is often hampered when people don’t interact outside of the office regularly. It’s usually challenging to maintain a friendship when you never have time outside of work to get together and do something fun.
Personal relationships can suffer for this reason, but with online conferences, everyone is free to participate in the call from their own homes or coffee shops rather than being stuck in traffic or at the train station during rush hour.
Fosters New Relationships:
If your business is looking for new clients, word of mouth is always an excellent way to find someone who might need your services, but it’s even better if there’s an existing relationship that can be nurtured into a full-blown contract!
With virtual conferencing, professionals from different fields don’t rely on third parties to set up a call. Instead, they can get to know each other through the course of an online meeting and build trust before approaching someone for business.
Business people who constantly commute between office buildings or move from one working space to another usually don’t have time for lunch with co-workers, even if they live in the same city!
When team members aren’t forced to work separately due to incompatible schedules, everyone benefits from knowing their colleagues better, and it’s easier to be productive when you’re not stressed about getting stuck in traffic on the way home (or worrying about what will happen if your car breaks down somewhere along the route).
People no longer need to worry about what they’re wearing, what their hair looks like, or if there’s food stuck in their teeth. Everyone is free to participate without worrying about individuals judging them based on appearance or background noise!
Improved Meeting Attendance:
Let’s face it, it’s tough to attend meetings that occur outside of regular business hours when you have young children at home.
If your child wakes up sick after school and needs your attention, you don’t want to risk asking the babysitter for help because she may not be able to stay late to watch them (or increase the hourly rate significantly due to the change).
Online meetings allow people worldwide to participate in discussions whenever available rather than forcing everyone into a time zone.
Less Stress for Travellers:
In the United States, people frequently travel from one part of the country to another for business meetings. It’s a rare occurrence when everyone can gather under the same roof long enough to have a lengthy face-to-face discussion!
When participants are scattered all across state lines or even around the world, it forces everyone to take trains, planes, and automobiles which takes time away from other tasks or forces them to miss out on necessary family time.
With online conferences, people in different places don’t need to waste gas driving back and forth between cities just because they want to meet about work matters.
More Personal Attention:
It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve told that person who answers your company phone that you’re not interested in a new line of credit or a new insurance plan; they’ll keep coming back to you with a pitch anyway!
With online conferencing, your employees can take advantage of discussion time to build relationships and identify individual concerns without the pressure of giving an immediate answer on the spot.
The number of people who do business over the phone has declined significantly over the past few decades. However, there are still plenty of situations that demand conversation rather than emails or text messages.
While many companies have turned to video calling services, it’s essential not to forget about more traditional types of communication for routine matters. Consider trying out online conferences when your business needs to discuss upcoming projects or brainstorm creative solutions!