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Study: Video-conferencing Ups Productivity of Virtual Teams

MANCHESTER, England, November 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

New research shows that video-conferencing is more effective than telephone and email for remote team-working.

The research was conducted by the globally-recognised Fraunhofer Institute, a specialist in workplace collaboration technology, for OmniJoin, a new video and webconferencing solution from technology giant Brother.

It tested the impact of video-conferencing on the behaviour and productivity of two teams who undertook simulated workplace tasks* while based at different locations.

The key findings were that, compared to collaborating by telephone and email, video-conferencing:

  • Delivered more productive meetings
  • 70% of participants said they were more willing to engage in the discussion when video-conferencing;
  • 60% said being able to see other people, and share documents live, made the discussion more open

  • Improved team spirit
  • 81% of participants said that, on phone and email, the task felt divided rather than united - whereas video-conferencing delivered genuine collaboration
  • 74% felt that decisions reached through video-conferencing felt more like joint decisions than those reached via phone/email

  • Made communication clearer
  • 79% of participants said communication on video-conferencing was more effective because being able to see others enabled them to concentrate for longer

Dr Josephine Hofmann, of the Fraunhofer Institute, said: "Our study found that video collaboration enables effective teamwork - as a genuine group process.  

"A majority of participants said they were able to concentrate for longer - whereas telephone conferences are stressful and make them switch off. This will have a positive impact on things like motivation, acceptance of the decision and willingness to contribute."

Video-conferencing is becoming increasingly popular in business as workforces become more mobile.  While the technology is commonplace in large organizations, research from IDC shows growing interest from small and medium-sized businesses: 29% of UK SMEs already use video-conferencing and this is projected to grow to 63% within five years.

Simon Stones, Product Planning Manager, Brother International Europe, said:

"The clear conclusion from this research is that seeing really is believing when it comes to effective teamwork. In today's fast-moving world, a high-quality solution like OmniJoin helps build trusting working relationships quickly - by putting a face to a name and creating a natural atmosphere."

Video: http://youtu.be/T2MylZuKDWc

* The tasks - allocating desks for an office move and agreeing how to spend the employee health budget - were deliberately designed to provoke confrontation and 'office politics'.

About PR Newswire
Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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