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Workers Reject Videoconferencing for Some Very Simple Reasons

February 1, 2011 | Kendal Kirby
A new study shows most workers don't want desktop videoconferencing. The reasons come down to basic work/productivity habits.

hiding_face.jpgJanuary 31, 2011, 01:36 PM - Video conferencing and telepresence technologies aren't new, but there is an increasing push to bring them into both the consumer and business markets. Technologies like Apple's FaceTime, Qik on Android phones, Cisco's Umi, and video chat through existing messaging solutions (such as Skype, AOL Instant Messenger, and Yahoo Messenger) are making video chat a reality in the home and everyday life. Meanwhile, companies like Cisco, HP, and IBM are hyping desktop video conferencing as a key business tool in the twenty first century.

Most often the hype for businesses is that it allows increased remote collaboration, reduces travel costs, and generally leads to increased productivity at reduced costs. That sounds well and good and many organizations have at least implemented the technologies in conference rooms to support remote participants in meetings. Some are even beginning to implement the technologies at the desktop level as well.

But, there's a problem with video conferencing living up to all the promises of the hype. And it isn't a problem with the technology. It's a problem with the workers.

Most of them aren't interested in using video conferencing.

That's the finding of a new study by Forrester Research. The study points an interesting picture by saying that 72% of workers survey don't have and don't want desktop video conferencing (13% don't have it but do want it, 13% have it and use it, and 2% have it but don't use it). For executives, the numbers are a bit more encouraging (42% of managers, 40% of VPs, and 38% of CEOS are actively using the technology).

With all the promised potential of video conferencing, why aren't workers more excited?

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