Three Myths About Video Conferencing
The content determines the medium. What can we reasonably expect?
The development of software for personal collaboration is difficult: its task is to support basic human action without disturbing it. Where are the limits? If your collaboration software doesn't help you, you just revert to pen and paper and personal conversations.
Perhaps the current focus on remote meeting solutions is based on myths that have evolved over time through the use of these systems. Here are three of them:
Myth 1: Most meetings require video conferencing
This is not the case: Let's define a meeting as at least two people who come together, albeit briefly, to accomplish a common task in a limited time window. This includes group decisions, status updates, consensus building, dialogue, and other general collaboration.
How often does this happen on a normal working day, with your colleagues, in your office, a Huddle Space, in the hallway, or in a traditional conference room? How many of those meetings involved people who weren't in the room?
Research* shows that only about 18-20% of all meetings involve external participants. That doesn't mean video conferencing isn't important. When an external participant needs to be present at a meeting, video conferencing is the right tool. However, we should not design our workflow on the assumption that most meetings require video conferencing.
Myth 2: Videoconferencing is important for most types of meetings
How would you feel, for example, in a videoconference with only one-way information sharing? E-mails are better suited for this purpose.
Video conferencing can be very helpful in building relationships and trust with new business contacts. Facial expressions and gestures support the development of a personal reltionship. This is why video conferences are often used for first meetings. But most meetings are used for decision making, updates or for consensus building. They are result-oriented and concentrate on the exchange of important content. Especially when participants already know each other better, content is king and not live video of the participants' faces.
Mythos 3: 1080p oder 4K are crucial for video meetings
The sharpness of images and technical reliability are important requirements for every video conferencing product. However, there is no relevant evidence that high-definition videoconferencing influences the quality of a meeting.
Of course, there is a threshold at which poor resolution video quality will have an impact on meetinga. But the details that matter in a video conference with external participants - eye contact, interest, emotional involvement, and interaction - can also be transmitted with fewer pixels. The human ability to recognize facial expressions is so good that it does not require high image resolution.
We think that clearing up these myths allows product manufacturers to focus on developing better products for all kinds of meetings. Because the essential thing is to make meetings more productive, more pleasant and more successful.
*Sources: Futuresource Consulting, Wainhouse Research