If all federal workers used video conferencing, they could gain three and a half hours a week in productivity, resulting in an $8 billion annual savings, according to the “Fly Me to Your Room: Government Video Conferencing Collaboration Report.”
The report from the Telework Exchange and underwritten by the Blue Jeans Network, says that 84 percent of respondents expect video conferencing use to increase within the next five years. Video conferencing is an effective way to reduce already-tightened Federal budgets – 92 percent of respondents agreed increased video conferencing use would save tax dollars, while 73 percent agreed video conferencing would help reign in project timelines.
Benefits would include reduced business travel, money saved, collaboration, a reduced carbon footprint and better work-life balance, say respondents.
“In our experience, the largest barrier to the adoption of video conferencing has been the lack of device interoperability. Organizations should not have to worry about whether or not all participants are using the same video conferencing solution, computer, or mobile device,” according to Stu Aaron, chief commercial officer at Blue Jeans Network.
“The report findings support our relentless focus on making video conferencing as simple as an audio call in order to have government and non-governmental organizations alike benefit from better productivity and the cost savings associated with video conferencing.”
Despite positive feedback on the use of video conferencing, those surveyed did point to significant barriers. A majority – 76 percent – agree that their respective agencies are not using video conferencing to the fullest extent possible. So what are the great hurdles to more widespread adoption?
The lack of available video conferencing tools is the leading problem (53 percent). Additional issues include: network/bandwidth limitations (46 percent), lack of general use (41 percent), cultural barriers (40 percent), lack of awareness of video benefits (35 percent), cost concerns (34%), incompatible video conferencing platforms (33%), and lack of managerial buy-in (33%).
Personally, we think the more government employees telework, the better. While efficient telework may require some training and self-discipline, the reduction in travel, energy use, wasted time and taxpayer money make it attractive. The government should lead the way in developing telework options and make it more attractive to corporate America as well via tax incentives.
“Since the passage of the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010, we have seen an incredible change in how government is working together remotely,” said Cindy Auten, general manager, Telework Exchange. “We are riding the wave of mobility and must arm Federal workers with the right tools to get the job done in the best way possible. Collaboration tools, like video conferencing, allow coworkers to come together visually but without lengthy travel, or large amounts of time away from one’s work station. It best enables cooperation and teamwork in these mobile times.”
“Fly Me to Your Room: Government Video Conferencing Collaboration Report” is based on a survey of 128 Federal government employees who participated in an online poll between July and August of 2012. The report has a margin of error of +/- 8.63 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. To download the full study, please visit
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- NSF Study says: Telework saves money, environment
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