When video is as common as voice…

Working in a team developing collaborative solutions you won’t be surprised that we spend an awful lot of time “eating our dog food” over the last 2 years.  This has resulted in some interesting observations:

  • My team members in different continents who I have never been able to meet really appreciate the basic ability to see me and relate to me.
  • Putting on a headset and answering a video call isn’t as natural as answering the telephone for the first few weeks.
  • You are more likely to share information through screen sharing than you would just on the telephone.
  • Its quite strange to see yourself, so I’d recommend turning off the “PIP” as soon as you’re happy with the camera image.
  • Even with poor lip synch I find video more beneficial than audio only.  I spoke with a senior manager who I respect last week and they said once they met someone video was a distraction.  I have to say that I haven’t found this to be the case.
  • Folks are reluctant to start a video call without checking first, how many folks check before calling your mobile?
  • Folks, of both sexes, can be concerned about their appearance – especially at times when we do work “out of hours”.

As with most collaboration technologies it is behaviour which is important, understanding this will help alleviate barriers to adoption.  Time to dig into the huge piles of research out there.  Technology wise, I do worry that the network backbone in many countries may not be sufficient to cope with the demands in 5 or 10 years time for HD video units in most homes and on most desks.  Wow a post on video without the word Green, darn done it now 🙂

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