You’ve seen it before in the movies: ghostly holographic figures of a powerful underground society circling a conference room table. Each person is wearing a pair of stylish glasses enabling them to see each other’s virtual presence. (A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the Jedi Council had this technology perfected.) This technology may seem futuristic, but in reality, it’s not that far, far away. It’s made possible through telepresence. (Cool glasses not included.)
What is Telepresence and How Could it Impact My Business?
The most common business use of telepresence is to give remote users the feeling that they’re in the same place. Video conferencing tools using business VoIP services can help establish this remote (or virtual) presence.
The potential impact of this solution on your business is large, but still very much in flux. In the not-too-distant future, however, telepresence could allow you to maintain a 100% remote workforce, connected through virtual reality video conferencing.
Telepresence: Today and Tomorrow
Businesses today use telepresence to enable video conferencing and virtual phone calls, both for remote workers and customer interactions. Applications like 3CX’s video conferencing, Slack, and Google Hangouts provide a relatively stable video conferencing environment similar to what many employees may be using at home to connect with friends and family. Screen sharing, a version of videoconferencing in which others on the call connect through a browser link to see what the presenter sees on his or her desktop in real time, is now a common feature of modern conference calls.
Telepresence will continue to advance with technology, and many businesses already have ideas for utilizing this game-changing tech. Telepresence could allow for even bigger advancements like:
Video conferencing and virtual phone calls
With ongoing advances in telepresence capabilities, video conferencing and virtual phone calls will see a major upgrade from today’s standards. High-fidelity audio and premium HD video will be able to stream through VoIP without today’s choppy delivery, providing a smooth experience.
However, despite its limitations, businesses are already using this technology to connect with coworkers across the globe. This allows alignment on strategic initiatives without spending a fortune on travel.
Remote workforce robots
Some entrepreneurial businesses are even researching the use of telepresence robots. These allow remote workers to directly engage in a remote workplace environment.
By mounting a videoconferencing display on a mobile robot, remote workers can participate in meetings and be included in day-to-day activities.
Telepresence has the potential to drastically change how we do business. Imagine a surgeon in L.A. performing remote surgery on a patient in London. Or a farmer in a rural community visiting a virtual clinic to talk to a doctor in a large city.
Telepresence can also be leveraged to allow for remote work in dangerous or hazardous environments, like outer space. Instead of sending a crew of humans to Mars, maybe we’ll send robo-astronauts piloted by scientists sitting in a NASA lab.
Another possibility is using telepresence to provide top-tier education across the globe. E-learning is already a huge industry, but in the future, we might connect to a virtual reality system to learn how to perform job tasks without leaving the comfort of our own bedrooms.
What are the Benefits of Telepresence in a Contact Center?
Contact centers also stand to benefit from telepresence technology through a remote workforce and clearer communications.
Together, telepresence benefits include:
- Greater efficiency
- Less travel time and costs
- Overall cost savings
Remote employees are a subject of debate for many businesses. However, studies show that 77% of remote workers are more productive than their in-office counterparts.
Businesses that employ remote workers are rewarded with employees who are more effective and efficient. In addition, remote employees tend to have a stronger work ethic. The same study found that 23% of workers were willing to work longer hours than they were onsite and 52% were less likely to take time off. Remote employees themselves save money on travel and experience higher levels of job satisfaction and reduced stress.
With greater productivity and employee satisfaction, both businesses and employees benefit from remote and telepresence technologies.
Human beings use verbal and non-verbal methods of communication, so not surprisingly, when we talk on the phone and lose those visual cues, there can be misunderstandings.
Video telepresence solutions allow contact centers to put their employees face-to-face with each other and their customers, reducing the risks of miscommunication and increasing the feeling of connectedness.
A remote workforce can represent significant cost savings for a business through decreased travel expenses alone. Businesses may also have reduced equipment costs when combining this solution with a BYOD program. Likewise, clear communication can lead to:
- Fewer misinterpretations or costly errors
- Higher customer satisfaction
- Potentially increased business as the company can expand into new areas
Telepresence solutions are picking up speed and already have many important uses for today’s companies.
Call or email Voxtelesys today to find out how integrating a telepresence solution into your remote offices can help advance the way you do business.