The Millennials are here

Richard Middleton, country manager UK and Ireland at Lifesize, shares three ways in which the millennials’ video obsession is transforming and benefiting the office environment and how you can embrace the new way of work.

The fact is simple, we live in a world that demands speed and lacks patience and for this, email is far too slow.

Popular consumer apps such as FaceTime and WhatsApp have changed expectations on how we should communicate with each other with video increasingly becoming the first choice of millennials. At work enterprise IT teams are scrambling to mirror that same high-quality, fast, experience.

Video is Everywhere

Millennials have been using variations of video chat since they were young, whether through Skype, FaceTime or even gaming. They are also big streamers, 78 per cent of millennials in the UK streamed videos via channels such as YouTube, and 63 per cent used streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. For millennials, video conferencing and video streaming are part of their every day, and as a result they are more likely to adopt it effortlessly in the office. Where older generations may be reluctant to adopt video conferencing technology at work, millennials already understand its ability to make meaningful connections and boost productivity, with little to no training required.

It is because it is so much more engaging and so easy to use that video is extending to all corners of the enterprise in a holistic way. Meeting productivity is boosted by face-to-face video conferences no matter the location. Company-wide training and onboarding can be done using recorded and live video tutorials. HR can use video conferencing technology to interview new recruits and build strong relationships with current employees. Live-streamed video events can be broadcasted to thousands of viewers for maximum distribution of company messages. And with the ability to record and share on-demand video meetings, consuming important company information can be done in a way millennials already prefer — via video.

Simplicity is Key

As millennials have grown up alongside interactive and video technology, their expectation for the user experience is higher than any previous generation. While millennials have sometimes been labelled lazy by other generations, to them, it’s more about being efficient.

Millennials expect a process to advance in the least number of steps possible. They appreciate technology, like wearables, apps and workflow automation and communication, to aid productivity and streamline the process.

To rise to the occasion, video conferencing in the office must be a true one-click experience and accessible on whatever device is being used be it a mobile, laptop or tablet. It will need to be interoperable with other solutions and utilise WebRTC via the web browser to make video communication in the enterprise as simple as possible.

To ease IT burdens, video conferencing solutions should be plug-and-play, so that HD cameras and phones work seamlessly with cloud-based conferencing software, no matter what size or type of room video is needed — huddle, conference, auditorium, etc.

Cloud-based collaboration tools are helping companies provide workforces with faster and more efficient ways to communicate with each other. Real time chat tools are the norm in the majority of workplaces, and video conferencing is becoming increasingly popular. These more efficient methods of collaboration will eventually replace the majority of emails that we send.

Video and Personalisation

As businesses have become increasingly global, work is everywhere, constant and more flexible than it has ever been. Millennial employees want to be part of companies with a strong culture, wherever they work, the use of video allows them to meet ‘in-person’ wherever they happen to be — whether in the office, via laptop in a coffee shop, on a tablet at home, or using a smartphone at an airport.

Other than being physically in the same place, something that is often not possible in today’s global work environment, video is the next best thing for work meetings. It’s engaging, convenient and more productive.

Millennials crave purposeful work, and in today’s distributed workforce, the more virtual ‘face-to-face’ time possible, the more enjoyable the work environment.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine