There is a shift in the workplace. According to the State of the Remote Work
, 52% of employees work from home at least once per week.
There’s an obvious uptick in employees’ expectation for flexibility, and with that comes a change in the tools and services we need for success. Specifically, companies are increasing investment in resources that make employees equally effective no matter where they are located -- whether that’s in the office, on the road, or at home.
As Zoom customers know, the first step in this journey is the move to video for communication. By using video conferencing
to capture meetings and conversation, attendees both in the room and outside now have access to the essential visual context needed for successful communication: facial expressions, body language, and context cues.
However, the next question is: are all video conferencing services created equal in capturing and sharing this essential context?
To answer this question, we at Owl Labs conducted the video conferencing research study
surveying 1,152 video conferencing users to understand the performance of different service providers. We started by asking which video conferencing services people used. Answers included a variety of softwares from Zoom, Skype for Business, GotoMeeting, BlueJeans, Webex, Google Meet, and many more.
While dissecting the data, we were able to compare the different solutions, evaluate their strengths, and gather helpful findings about video conferencing as a whole.
While reviewing the research, one particular stat stood out. Zoom was 20% more effective at improving connectedness among remote team members above all other video conferencing service providers.
The data also revealed that Zoom was 18% more effective at improving the effectiveness of teams as a whole.
Identifying this data point was huge. Owl Labs’ mission is to make teams and remote employees feel more connected (in our case, via our 360° video conferencing camera), and so it’s essential that we understand which software solutions support our customers best.
So what are the elements of a strong video conferencing service that leads to improved connectedness? We see three main factors:
- Connection Quality - You’d think this would be obvious, but perhaps it’s not. If you want to enable people to meet from anywhere, people need to be able to connect and get a clear video feed from … anywhere! That means video should be clear, crisp, fast, and function well even in a low wifi environment.
- Ease of Meeting Set Up - The golden rule for effective video meetings is, “Always assume at least one person will be remote for each meeting.” That means every meeting invite by default should include a video meeting dial-in or link to join. The best services make this easy and quick to set up for every meeting.
- Easy to Use Interface That Shows Everybody - No one has time to fumble with their conferencing. When you’re hosting a big and important global meeting, it needs to be extremely easy to use, join, and interact with your fellow attendees. It’s also essential that you can see everyone and that it feels natural. For example, Zoom’s Gallery View displays up to 49 participants at the same time, so it’s easy to interact.
However, our findings didn’t stop there. As we evaluated results, it became clear that the companies with the most connected meetings benefited from more than an engaging video conferencing service, and had optimized their setup even further. The best meetings used two components, both equally important.
- An exceptional video conferencing service to host the meeting (Ex: Solutions like Zoom)
- An immersive camera and audio device to capture the entire room (Ex: Products like the Meeting Owl.)
As major fans of Zoom ourselves, we wanted to understand if the Meeting Owl might help Zoom customers get even more value from their video conferencing service.
For those unfamiliar, the Meeting Owl is a 360° video conferencing camera
that goes in the center of the table. It captures a 360° panorama of the whole room, and automatically focuses on people in the room as they speak.
We were pleased to learn that 93% of shared Zoom and Meeting Owl customers said that the Meeting Owl improved their overall Zoom experience.
At the end of the day, the goal of video conferencing is to support teams and how we work together. Meetings need to be easy, instant, and effective.
We will continue to take a critical eye to the quality of service our video conferencing partners provide. If we do, as a whole we’ll continue to raise the bar for what exemplary meetings-from-anywhere can be. For now, congrats to Zoom for leading the way.
About the Author:
Rebecca Corliss is the VP Marketing at Owl Labs. Owl Labs is the creator of the Meeting Owl, a 360° video conferencing camera
, mic and speaker in a single device. Zoom customers love the Meeting Owl because it helps remote participants feel like they’re sitting in the room with the team.