I'm the founder of FutureWork IQ where I spend my time assisting businesses to design digital workplaces or “offices in the cloud.” These environments enable companies to allow flexible and remote working for their teams. I also teach the digital literacy, fluency, communication and collaboration skills needed to work in these modern technology-rich workplaces.

Let me paint the picture for you. An executive team has given urgent priority to creating a digitisation strategy for their business. As a starting point they want an overview of exactly where things are in their industry and so want the workshop entitled “Designing a Digital Workplace – a step-by-step guide” presented to the executive team. The team is spread out in three locations (Johannesburg; Cape Town; Durban)

20th Century: Because this is something they urgently want to address, they would need to fly the team from Cape Town and Durban up to Johannesburg. The material cost of this would include airfares, and transport. (It’s a 1/2 day programme so no need to overnight.) This would normally take leadership out the office for an entire day. Or, they could wait until their quarterly meeting and have the programme presented then. The challenge with this is that normally its a pretty full agenda and adding extra items to this, especially in the form of a workshop, is not always that practical. It would also mean waiting to get going with the strategy.

21st Century: We decide instead to bring the team into a virtual video conference room, which can be accessed from any mobile or desktop device and the programme is presented live, with the exception that no one needs to travel and be out the office for a full day. Because the room allows for screen sharing everyone is able to see any slides and videos from their device of choice. The session is also interactive and makes it feel as if everyone is in the same room. The net result is time and money saved and a team that can move at speed to develop their strategy.

It’s actually amazing that more business is not done this way!

Here is a list of resources I think you will find useful:

Five Advantages and Benefits of Video Conferencing
The Rising Confidence in Cloud-based Video Conferencing
9 Important Remote Conferencing Statistics You Need to Know