February 23, 2022
Remember when the pandemic was only going to last a few months, and everything would go back to normal? Those precious phrases, like "In these challenging times" and "Now more than ever" started being replaced by "the new normal," and cries for resiliency. Recently, even that language seems to echo a more innocent time, where anything that remotely resembled normalcy (even a new one) was within reach.
While much of those narratives certainly meant well, a quieter and less romantic narrative is emerging about how human beings respond to change. Necessity has always been the mother of invention, but perhaps we all forgot what necessity felt like. It's uncomfortable and scary…enough to force other uncomfortable and scary things like adaptation.
For all of its "challenging times," the virus has also ushered in a renewed sense of resourcefulness and grit as companies scrambled to maintain operations. Many companies that had always sworn off remote work were now eating their words, and strangely enough, enjoying the taste. Multiple calls to return to the office, only to retreat back home again have taught even those companies that would have never considered a remote workforce viable, let alone desirable, a valuable lesson about continuity, connectivity and telepresence…and perhaps a bit about humility. It's a lesson that will probably last long after the pandemic.
What Is Telepresence?
Telepresence is an integrated solution that allows you to collaborate with people at remote locations. You've likely already experienced some forms of telepresence in remote work or virtual meetings, but there are actually three components:
- Codec (also known as the video camera and controller)
- Microphone and Speakers
Additional components can be added, like a touchpad for ease of use, and room automation to automatically set the lights and close blinds. The additional features vary based on the specific needs of a company or organization.
5 Benefits Of Telepresence
Telepresence allows real-time, two-way collaboration between people who aren’t in the same location. They are able to speak as if they are in the same room and share data with ease. This technology allows for greater communication and collaboration, and it's highly beneficial for businesses with multiple offices, a remote workforce, or clients in distant locations.
1. Allows Robust Communication
Speaking is only one type of human communication. We also use nonverbal communication like body language and facial expressions. When you remotely join a meeting by phone, these important social cues are largely invisible. And without such nuance, it's easy to misread or even completely misunderstand what's being said. Telepresence allows more visual collaboration so you can communicate more effectively.
2. Increases Human Interaction
We are all probably aware that body language is more than 50% of communication. In addition to providing important social cues, facial expressions and body language allow not only the context, but also the impact of a message to be more effectively communicated. Being visible also reduces the likelihood of participants getting distracted or multi-tasking throughout the meeting.
3. Supports Business Enablement
Businesses need ways to alleviate bottlenecks to growth and progress. Enabling your business to collaborate and communicate without inconveniences is a key benefit of telepresence. Click here to read a more in-depth explanation of business enablement.
4. Cut Down On Travel
Travel is exhausting, on people, on organizations and on budgets. Why hop on a plane when you can instantly collaborate with others anywhere in the world? Being able to utilize communication tools and technology with telepresence can reduce time and expenses that come with traveling for meetings or presentations.
5. Enables Fast Turnaround On ROI
When you think about telepresence as a way to eliminate travel costs, increase effective communication, build engagement and provide business enablement, it’s easy to see the ROI.
Benefits Of Telepresence For Business Enablement
When an organization integrates telepresence, they’re typically surprised by how effectively it enables them to conduct business. They shouldn't be. Human beings, for all our faults, have continued to defy the "challenging times" that are always with us. So facilitating more nuanced, more human communication, for all its messiness and complexity, is simply rediscovering and leveraging what has always been our greatest strength.