Written by Beth Hildreth on July 2, 2013
Categories: Industry Articles

In the interest of staying relevant, businesses are seeking to integrate the latest technological solutions into their company’s portfolio, a trend which has generated the increasing popularity of enterprise collaboration tools. The technology gives employees the tools they need to seamlessly connect despite their physical proximity to one another, and video conferencing is beginning to distinguish itself as a necessary tool.

No longer do employees have to be sitting at the same table to come up with new ideas or develop new plans; video conferencing and web conferencing allow that to happen even when one employee is in New York City and the other is in Phoenix. Virtual communications save money and time, as employees aren’t forced to travel between two locations in order to meet up and collaborate. Similarly, meetings can be held remotely, with attendees logging in from wherever they happen to be working from that day rather than having multiple people drive to a single central location.

The rise of enterprise collaboration tools like video conferencing has led some to wonder whether the technology is making face-to-face interactions and meetings a thing of the past. But research shows differently. Even the segment of the population arguably most connected to the Internet—Millenials, or those between 18 and 27 years old—sees the value in face-to-face interactions, despite a significant portion of their communication being digital. Research conducted by CEIR shows 61 percent of Millenials feel face-to-face interaction is more important today than it was two years ago, while 53 percent of Generation Xers (those aged 28 through 39) also see the growing value of communicating in person.

Millennials feel as though online interaction—through instant messaging, web conferencing or video conferencing—lead to more of an interest in face-to-face interaction. Because they’re collaborating with other employees or communicating with clients, they are developing a relationship. And after that relationship begins to develop, it’s only natural that all parties involved would be interested in meeting one another in person.

Today, businesses of all sizes are using this new technology to uncover ways in which they can save money and increase efficiency, leading some to believe that the amount of time set aside in business for face-to-face interaction would continue to decrease in the coming years. But that’s simply not the case, as the most technology-inclined generation agrees face-to-face interaction are important for meeting new vendors, finding new products, being exposed to new industry insights and networking to further their professional careers.