By Daniel Hunter

Companies are putting themselves at risk by not giving staff the right communication tools to do their jobs properly, according to the latest research by video conferencing service provider UCi2i.

The claim, based on a poll of 1,000 office employees in the UK, highlights the common problems faced with traditional audio conferencing, including service faults and poor quality.

UCi2i have found that as many as 80% of employees have experienced miscommunication via audio conferencing in the past 3 months, with other uncomfortable situations currently facing staff including awkward silences (80%) and the potentially disastrous misuse of the mute function (55%).

“Rather than improve efficiencies, these results show that traditional audio-based conferencing is actually not only an outdated form of communication, but also an insufficient one. It could easily restrict your business and staff from being its most profitable and productive," says Michael Grant, MD of UCi2i.

“Not only do 80% of employees experience miscommunications, but 70% actually fear these services not working at all, with a third of employees preferring to be able to see the person they’re speaking to."

UCi2i believes these problems - with exceptions of technical faults - are down to the lack of face-to-face communications. “The majority of our communications are non-verbal and the ability to gauge people’s reactions, buy-in and keep eye contact is essential for any business relationship,” continues Grant.

Certainly not helping employees’ apprehensions of these services are the common delays in sound and call quality, cited again by 80% of respondents as being an issue over the last three months.

The ability to counteract these issues with more sophisticated communications technologies which enable staff to speak to whomever they want, whenever they need to, and wherever they are, through video conferencing, is rapidly gaining traction.

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