Mastering the meeting in the work anywhere age

Mastering the meeting in the work anywhere age
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Whether you’re employee number two at a fledging start-up or the COO of a multinational corporation, there’s no getting away from meetings. Because of the interconnected nature and rapid pace of modern work, it’s more important than ever for team members, clients, and vendors to be on the same page and for meetings to be run as efficiently as possible.

Luckily, there’s a new set of collaboration tools designed to help businesses evolve with the times and, increasingly, virtual meetings are proving to be key to graduating to new levels of productivity and communication.

The latest collaboration technology combines videoconferencing with collective document editing and other services, and they’re quickly improving. With the global videoconferencing market set to double by 2020 to $6.4 billion, it’s clear that plenty of businesses see the potential of the technology. But what is it about the virtual meeting that holds so much promise?

One of the main benefits of videoconferencing technology is its ability to reduce setup and confusion, allowing people to focus on high impact, high-bandwidth individual tasks. Research suggests that, compared to emails or traditional calls, comprehensive virtual solutions make participants more engaged, focused on the shared task, and united behind the meeting’s results, according to the Fraunhofer Institute’s specialized research in the field. In addition, greater interaction with customers increases revenue and retention.

Science has long backed up the importance of face-to-face interaction, but in a global economy, that’s not always possible to do in the flesh. Videoconferencing retains the vast communicative advantages that come with eye contact, body language, and vocal tone even when participants are thousands of miles away.

By allowing participation from any location, videoconferencing reduces travel—and its environmental impact—while improving inclusion. And it’s an essential interface option as remote working continues to rise, thanks to decentralized workplaces and studies that show that remote employees can be 13% more effective while also reducing overhead. It’s as true for a far-flung coder as it is for the remote CEO of a 4,000-person software company. At Boeing, for example, improved virtual exchange between workers minimized cultural and even language barriers, led to better brainstorming, and reduced unwelcome office politics.

Powerful platforms like Telstra Cloud Collaboration—which delivers a unified communications service through the cloud, combining voice, video, messaging, instant messaging (IM) and presence, videoconferencing, audio and web conferencing—are helping to make this shift possible. In fact, it was Telstra’s experience with social media network Yammer, another product of today’s decentralized, hyper connected workplace that helped them to appreciate the advantages of such solutions. With over 40,000 Yammer users, Telstra has found the service helped cut through hierarchy and create a more responsive and open environment, just as videoconferencing has been shown to do.

With the fast-growing integration of virtual meetings across industries and clear proof of their success, conference call hold music and reply-all spamming may one day (hopefully) be things of the past.

Read more about how Telstra’s solutions and technology allow clients to realize the full benefits of virtual collaboration.

This article was produced on behalf of Telstra by the Quartz marketing team and not by the Quartz editorial staff.