Most workers use video conferencing at home, not at work – research

15 Dec 2010

Some 88pc of office workers use video conferencing at home to talk to friends and family, but 86pc of remote and office workers don’t use video communications for work, a survey has revealed.

The survey, conducted by Damovo in the UK among 1,000 remote and office workers, showed that 39pc of workers are reluctant to use video communications at work as they worry about how they look on camera.

Ten per cent of workers said they were too embarrassed to talk in front of a camera, as for them, it feels like public speaking.

Among those who were comfortable talking in front of a camera, 19pc said that because they work from home or on the road, they are aware that their location may not be suited for video.

In spite of this reluctance to use video conferencing at work, 88pc of participants said they used video services such as Skype, Google Talk or MSN Messenger to chat with friends and family in the country or overseas.

Almost two-thirds of workers said they are more likely to action a conversation in a video conference than in an email, suggesting improved productivity from using the services.

Damovo says the “immediacy and impact of seeing someone face to face in a video conference” can encourage people to act on a task, as opposed to receiving a request through email.

The research also found that 69pc feel that, while instant messaging and email has brought greater flexibility in the workplace, it has lessened working relationships with colleagues.

“While this research was carried out in the UK, we also see a huge disconnect for Irish workers between using video communications for business or leisure purposes,” said Mary Bradshaw, managing director of Damovo Ireland.

“With all of the snow and ice in Ireland over the past few weeks and more forecast, it would aid Irish private and public sector workers enormously to be able to communicate with colleagues and customers from home by video.