A recent survey from Wainhouse Research is shedding some welcome light on Web conferencing trends. The decade-long survey tracked the growing acceptance of video in Web conferencing, and its transformative effect on how mobile technologies such as smartphones and tablets are used in the work environment.
Over a third of the 800+ companies surveyed in the study reported using video in Web conferencing at least 50 percent of the time. A reported 44 percent of Web conferencing users relied on video to see their colleagues during their Web meetings.
The adoption of video in Web conferencing hasn’t been without its hiccups. Video Web conferencing adoption rates reached lows in 2007 and 2008 due to poor picture quality and questionable service reliability. Since then, improvements in video technology have helped drive a renewed interest and, as a result, an increased user base.
Changing Attitudes are Driving Trends
Not surprisingly, millennials are setting the trend for increased video usage in Web conferencing. As the survey shows, millennials are one of the major drivers of video Web conferencing due to their demand for face-to-face collaboration. Millennials are also more comfortable with the idea of using video than their predecessors.
Others outside of the millennial bracket are also demanding some kind of video capability in their Web conferencing platforms. This is especially true for those who are a part of the mobile workforce environment. Mobile workers prefer seeing those they’re working with, as opposed to more traditional methods of Web conferencing.
Many mobile workers also appreciate how video allows them to put an actual face to the voices they hear on conference calls. This presents a greater opportunity for building team cohesion in spite of their remote locations.
Taking Web Conferencing on the Road
Another changing trend is the growing support for mobile Web conferencing. According to the Wainhouse study, employee access to mobile devices has leaped from 42 percent in 2013, to a whopping 70 percent as of 2014. As a result, companies that heavily rely on remote workforces are now taking an outsized interest in mobile support for Web conferencing.
Fortunately, Web conferencing vendors have already taken the initiative in building greater support for mobile clients into their infrastructure. As a result, the groundwork for video has already been set in place, allowing for smoother adoption and increased effectiveness for mobile users.
When asked about the effectiveness of tablets for mobile Web conferencing, 51 percent of respondents said they were very effective while 39 percent said they were somewhat effective. On the other hand, only 20 percent said that mobile phones were very effective for video Web conferencing. Analysis believe that the larger screens offered by tablets make video Web conferencing more attractive on those devices than mobile phones.
Given the changing attitudes towards video, the proliferation of mobile devices in the workplace and improving technologies, it’s no surprise that video Web conferencing has become a popular staple for many businesses.