Travelling to Meetings and Work is Costing SMEs
New study finds that commuting is eating into employee productivity
Nearly six-in-ten employees think their company wastes thousands of pounds through work-related travelling.
The survey, commissioned by 8×8 and conducted through Dynata, polled 500 US knowledge workers at companies of up to 100 employees, found that 58 per cent of employees believe their company loses $10-25,000 annually because employees spend time travelling to meetings and commuting to and from work, and 23 per cent believe their company loses more than $75,000 as a result.
The research also found that nearly 30 per cent of respondents citing that meetings require them to come into the office every day or at least multiple times a week, an effective remote solution can give that critical time back to employees, without losing valuable face-to-face interaction.
The survey also looked at the advantages of various video collaboration features. Sixty per cent of respondents said they use video or screen sharing when hosting a virtual meeting. When asked what value video conferencing adds to meetings, 48 per cent said it allowed them to work from anywhere and 20 per cent said it improves their connection with colleagues. Others noted that video conferencing allowed them to hold participants more accountable during meetings than equivalent audio-only conferences.
“As meeting technology has evolved from mass dial-ins and clunky screen sharing functionality, effortless business-ready HD video collaboration has created a powerful link between teams, without requiring them to be tethered to a single office location,” said Dejan Deklich, chief product officer at 8×8.
“Meetings are a vital part of the workplace fabric, yet businesses need to be able to support employees who cannot afford to sit through extended commutes due to personal responsibilities or remote physical locations. As most small businesses typically operate on thin profit margins, being able to salvage even one per cent of revenue by giving employees time back in their day without sacrificing productivity or human connection is critical.”
While video conferencing continues to grow in popularity among today’s employees, businesses are still falling short in delivering a seamless, intuitive meeting experience. In fact, when asked what they like least about virtual meetings, 38 per cent of respondents cited issues with the connection or technology.
In an exclusive interview with UC Today, Deklich said that having employees come into the workplace is nice if every employee lives near headquarters or the office. But the reality is organisations are challenged by myriad factors to hire and retain the best employees, such as an area’s high cost of living, long commutes and quality of life.
“They have expanded globally to get closer to the customer, find the best talent, and may only have a small group of people in each location. For example, support, sales, and research and development all have people living and working across the world. As the workplace evolves, company CFOs and CIOs have to work together to determine how to save costs and implement new processes to better serve their global customers and employees effectively through communication and collaboration,” he said.
Deklich added that security is one reason companies may be reluctant to use video conferencing solutions because early-stage video meetings solutions were not very secure. With the implementation of encryption, that has changed.
“Now I don’t see a reason as to why a company wouldn’t want to use video conferencing as the difference between video and other virtual conversation methods is huge. It offers the user’s the ability to see a person’s face and read their body language. Outside of meeting in person, it’s the next best thing,” he said.
Deklich said that the transition to video conferencing has been happening over the last 10 years, and the proof is in the ROI;
“Video conferencing enables organisations to hire the best of the best, regardless of location, truly enabling companies and employees to focus on quality of life through the ability to live in a more affordable or desirable location for each individual”