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Video conference meetings can boost business relationships and productivity

An overwhelming 94 per cent of people believe that face-to-face communications improve business relationships, according to a survey released by Blue Jeans Network.

It is a significant statistic, and one that sits well with the skyrocketing popularity of video conferencing. Platforms such as Skype are now a proven and reliable means of communicating across time zones in a cost-effective yet social manner, establishing video conferencing as an effective and efficient corporate communications tool.

Blue Jeans, a video collaboration service that represents over 30 per cent of the global video conferencing market, found in the survey conducted by that nearly three quarters (71 per cent) of respondents believed that they lost a deal due to a lack of face-to-face interaction. Another 54 per cent said that if an in-person meeting is not possible, video conferencing would be the best alternative - only 23 per cent and 14 per cent of people would prefer audio calls and email respectively.

Going further, the overall productivity of audio only conference calls was called into question through the survey results, with 74 per cent of those surveyed saying that they multi-task when on the phone since their actions can’t be seen. Sixty nine per cent admit they have passed the time Facebooking, tweeting or taking other calls and, shockingly, six per cent of people confessed they’d even abandoned the call to take a nap.

The news is of great interest to Blue Jeans, which today officially launched its services in the UK. With over 700 businesses consuming approximately 10 million minutes a year on the cloud-based service alone, Britain is the second-largest market for the Californian company behind the US. Blue Jeans’s mission to enable more effective global collaboration between business partners and colleagues aims to make video communications as straight-forward as audio calls, which is good news for that 94 per cent of respondents who prefer to see a person when they talk to them.

The survey also found that talking to a person’s face is vital to avoiding preconceptions. Nearly all respondents – a staggering 94 per cent – reported that they are at least somewhat surprised by an associate's appearance after speaking on the phone. 60 per cent said that they regularly misread the tone of a message sent via email or phone and another 40 per cent said they’d mistaken someone’s gender before they’d had a visual connection.

If you’re thinking of investing in a video solution for your business, check out our top tips for how to go about choosing the one that’s right for you.