The world is shrinking while the business world is expanding.That may seem like an odd statement but it is true. With the technology that people and businesses are enjoying today, it really feels like the world is getting smaller because it is so much easier to reach those halfway around the world compared to even just a decade ago.
And as the world gets smaller, the reach of companies is now more global than ever. Not only are companies able to find new customers in new countries and continents, they are actually able to establish presence within that country and find the best talent not only within the US but from other countries as well.
That is why it is not a surprise that the trend of having US companies outsource a lot of their operations outside the country is continuing to grow. According to Techsunite.org, over 500,000 jobs have been outsourced since year 2000. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing is debatable. What is true however is that with technologies like Blue Jeans modern conference room, communications is no longer such a big hindrance in creating a truly global team.
You might think that it is not such a big deal. You are thinking that people are getting too excited over having two or more people from different locations talking to each other online. But there is a reason why video conferencing is becoming more and more popular this year and is expected to be more popular in the coming years. It just solves a lot of the problems that made it difficult to have an effective global team before the advancements in video conferencing.
Here are some of those problems and how video conferencing helped solved it:
One of the main problems in creating a global team is the assessment of talent. It is difficult to gauge the skills and talents of prospective applicants when they are in the other half of the world. A face-to-face interview is still the best way to really assess if the prospective applicant have what it takes to be part if the team, not only skill-wise but personality-wise as well. That is now possible with video conferencing. What was difficult 20 years ago is now common practice to most global companies.
Imparting knowledge and skills is also a problem that was solved by video conferencing. This technology is the preferred training method for both internal and external training sources. In fact, a lot of 3rd party providers use video conferencing to help their clients learn about their products during pre and post sales sessions. The best part is that these sessions can be recorded and shared multiple times for future use.
Managing working relationships with people from offices across the state is already very difficult. What if the employees are in another continent across the Pacific Ocean? The difference in time-zone has been a bane of global teams for years but instead of having to travel halfway across the world just for some face time with your global team, you are now able to have face-to-face meetings with your team regardless of time or place.
Stiff working hours
An off-shoot of the time-zone conflict problem is stiff working hours. Because of the limited common time availability, companies were forced to require workers to follow strict working hours. But because the modern conference room can be accessed from anywhere like your home or even a café, employees can now be given more flexible hours because an online meeting can be done anytime and anywhere.
Because of limited communication technologies in the past, collaboration is a very big problem. Most global teams are being unintentionally segregated because they are in different locations. But with the advancements in conferencing, collaborations have become easier not only because people are able to talk face-to-face but because sharing of files and desktops are easier as well. With the technology, it became easier to have everyone on the same page literally and figuratively.
Encouraging BYOD and on-demand information
Before, you would need special equipment for you to implement a simple audio conference. That has changed because the modern online meeting tool can now be accessed from any mobile device as long as it has a stable Internet connection. With a more flexible schedule, employees are encouraged to use their own devices for productivity and are trained to produce needed information even when they are on the go.
The best thing about this is that this is what experts are picturing as the workplace of the future. In a study by Kcom, they believe that flexible hours and remote working will be more of a norm in 2020 as the current office hours will be considered a thing of the past. With the advances in video conferencing, that type of workplace might come earlier than 2020.