Virtual is nothing short of a reality today and telepresence technology has enabled smooth interactions between geographically scattered people as if they were physically together. Remote work collaboration has become commonplace in order to migrate in-person interactions onto a digital platform. At times it is lifelike, with you being able to feel the energy and enthusiasm radiating off your co-worker!
Telepresence which means having an electronic presence elsewhere enhances remote team collaboration regardless of the member’s physical spot. Similar to the multiplayer online virtual games that have drastically changed the way gamers interact online, collaborative telepresence has transformed the way cross-functional and remote teams work together. From 2D video conferencing systems, robotic, AR, and VR to the latest True Holograph telepresence technology seen in blockbusters like Star Wars, this multi-billion-dollar trend has disrupted business management and collaboration alike.
Let us find out how telepresence technology has proved beneficial for team collaboration:
1. The Flexibility of Remote Team Meeting Scheduling:
The biggest advantage of telepresence technology is enabling quick and efficient face-to-face meetings anywhere and anytime between distributed employees. Telepresence technology can integrate seamlessly with resource management software that allows members on the telepresence network to join a meeting immediately from any video enabled device like mobile and desktop after clicking on the invitation link sent to them. Meetings on the go can be scheduled via ERM extensions like Outlook and google calendar
Specific dashboards give a bird’s view of your resources on the telepresence network which makes scheduling meetings quicker without roping in someone to make calls and schedule one. This integration helps save travel costs, boost employee productivity, and enhance customer interaction. Stakeholder management is facilitated by keeping them in the loop about this information as well.
2. Create a More Engaging Workplace and Workforce:
When you grab the visual and auditory attention of your distributed workforce, you end up enhancing team engagement. Telepresence enabled virtual meetings have deployed technologies like 3D immersion, hologram, VR, robot, etc. that support high bandwidth, HD resolution, and high-end codecs. This makes collaboration with virtual teams a realistic one. Telepresence technology makes it easier for remote teams to share visual references without wasting much time on sending physical files and emails back and forth.
Studies have shown that videoconferencing employees are also more focused and alert when viewed by team members. Since facial expressions and body language tend to deliver more impactful messages, participants are more likely to speak up during video conferencing which nullifies misunderstandings and ambiguity prevalent in emails and voice calls. Now, this feature also comes handy while hiring applicants virtually as their non verbal communication speaks volumes about their personality to understand if they will be a right fit for the organization.
3. Adds Persuasiveness to Sales Presentation:
Imagine you have an important sales presentation for a remote client but distorted video calls due to poor network connection backed by broken voices and annoying sound effects, which fail to create an impression. Real-time communication between you and your client can fix those issues. Although telepresence and videoconferencing are used interchangeably, their intrinsic difference lies in their implementation. For starters, telepresence removes all peripheral distractions and feels more realistic with HD clear video and a real-life presentation. Also, visual cues via product demos and mockups can impress potential customers that a call or even face-to-face meeting fails to deliver.
Telepresence Video Conferencing with clients significantly reduces costs on employee transportation, hotel, meals, and client entertainment. It creates a positive impression of your brand and increases the likelihood of a sales pipeline. By creating an impact on your clients faster and it enables internal resources to maximize their utilization and productivity on billable or high priority tasks. Increasing your presence by adding a face to the name helps improve customer satisfaction by establishing the trust factor and building interpersonal relationships with them.
4. Human Interaction with Remote Teams:
Human interaction is complex where body language, tone of voice, facial expressions play significant roles. Studies suggest that spoken words only account for 7% of message comprehension. Phone calls only reveal the tone but omit the rest which is essential for understanding the message conveyed.
Visual communication generates human interaction and effective collaboration between remote workers. Every team member is not only present but also visibly engaged during a telepresence enhanced meeting. Facial expressions and body language facilitate more effective and human communication.
5. Effective Communication Helps Reach Goals Faster:
Telepresence can help fulfill your business objectives especially when your team is remote. It plays a vital role in conducting efficient communication between the employer and the employee. When personal understanding and connection develop, it instills a sense of trust and camaraderie among your distributed employees.
Managers can use telepresence technology to make daily stand up meetings with remote team members more fulfilling. It compensates for in person interactions by enabling everyone to see each other, discuss goals and strategies with high energy and positivity, they are more likely to be motivated to achieve them faster.
Telepresence technology has permeated industries across all sectors irrespective of the size and nature of business. Team collaboration specifically is hugely impacted by this disruptive ever-evolving technology. From basic desktop enabled video conferencing systems to state-of-the-art telepresence suites, this technology is slowly becoming a core business enablement and collaboration tool.
Mahendra Gupta is PMP certified with over 10 years of expertise in smart workforce planning and resource management. He presently works for Saviom Software as a Project Consultant, where his experience has enabled multinational businesses around the globe to diversify their project portfolio. Follow his work here.