With the availability of video-from-anywhere technology, you may wonder if video conference rooms will become obsolete.  According to a Gallup survey, 43% of employed Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely in 2016. In addition, Americans that reported working remotely four to five days a week grew from 24% in 2012 to 31% in 2016. With trends toward remote working, is the conference room still relevant?

Yes, it is. In a Wainhouse Research report, 37% of businesses surveyed predicted their need for video conference rooms will grow as more people work remotely.  Steelcase Research reports that 82% of knowledge workers feel they need to partner with others during the day to get their work done. With more people needing to collaborate on- and offsite, video conference rooms may become the most important real estate in your building.

Participating in a video conference should feel as natural as meeting in person. But for many, it’s awkward, cumbersome, and intimidating. Video technology has traditionally been challenging to log into and use, and often requires a fair amount of technical know-how to run and control a meeting. No one wants to be the person who holds up the meeting because they don’t know how to get it started.

If it’s been more than two years since you implemented your video conferencing solution, it might be time to upgrade your user experience. Not sure? Here are five signs to watch for:

  1. It takes more than two minutes to start a meeting. Walk into your video conferencing space and pretend you know nothing about it. Is the equipment as intuitive to use as a smartphone? People avoid video conferencing when the process is too cumbersome, or it makes them feel like an idiot for not being familiar with what should be an intuitive process. Today’s video systems have touchscreen join and auto-schedulers that know the log-in info when you enter the room.
  2. You can’t see or often ignore the people at the far end of the room. Run a test meeting with people, and watch and listen. Who can be seen? Can they zoom in on the speaker? Who is getting overlooked? If people feel left out or unseen, they’ll find little value in participating in video meetings. Cameras should capture all the people in the room, and everyone should be equally heard and seen.
  3. The remote control has 50 buttons. The speaker gets done talking before you figure out which button zooms in on them. Automated systems will zoom in on the speaker, adjust volume, and track movement without the touch of a button.
  4. No one knows where to find the mute button. Are there distracting background noises? If you can hear people chewing, typing, rustling papers, and whispering to others, then you might be missing valuable content. Participants should be able to easily find the mute button to prevent their own noises from becoming a distraction. In addition, automated systems block non-human noises or background noise on their own.
  5. Your cables and plugs resemble the NYC subway map. Equipment should not take center stage nor look like a convoluted maze. Today’s video systems are elegant in design, and blend into the background so that communication and collaboration are the main focus.

If any of these strikes a chord, now’s a great time to check out what a modern video conferencing solution has to offer. With touchscreen join, wireless pairing, automated focus, and audio adjustments, today’s video conferencing solutions can dramatically enhance your user experience. Download the ebook Why the Video Conference Room Still Matters to learn more.