A survey conducted by leading unified communications consultancy group ICUGlobal has revealed that, from a poll of 300 organisations, 7 out of 10 surveyed rated “reducing organisational carbon footprints” as a key driver in their organisation’s decision to invest in web conferencing and collaboration.
The survey revealed that whilst organisations are constantly reviewing corporate travel and other communication practices for cost management reasons, the green debate is adding considerable impetus to web conferencing demand as this allows staff to meet visually, online without needing to leave their place of work.
The majority cited that the potential reductions in corporate travel, made possible by web conferencing, would not only save cost but generate significant environmental benefits in line with CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) targets. The majority felt that directly reducing carbon footprints in this way were more tangible than off-setting and that this would lead to change across the enterprise with web conferencing and collaboration playing a more important role.
It was also felt that environmental motivations for changes in working practices would be more palatable with staff as it reflected current social attitudes.
Other key drivers, behind a desire to invest in web conferencing and collaboration, included increased productivity (62%) and the need for better internal communication (58%) such as between branch and distributed offices.
Says Stephen McKenzie, CEO of ICUGlobal, “Social and consumer sensitivity to carbon footprints has now firmly entered the workplace and this is impacting markedly on working practices. Now, it is not just the financial costs of corporate travel, for example, that are significant, it is the environmental ones too that are important. Interestingly though, it seems that change based on environmental motives is more readily acceptable than that based on purely financial ones as staff feel included in the environmental agenda. Web conferencing and collaboration seem clearly to offer a cost effective solution and in turn this is generating significantly raised levels of interest and demand for this form of technology.
“In addition, these environmental goals seem underpinned by other workplace motivations. For example, the time spent not travelling to meetings, by collaborating or meeting online is also more productive and reduces stress.”