Save Time and Money – and Meet Virtually

By Christine Neuberger

What saves time and money, and serves as a communication tool for a growing number of work teams? Virtual meetings. According to a new study released by WorldCom Conferencing, called Meetings in America III, most American workers agree e-meetings produce savings in cost and time.

“We used to think that meeting face-to-face was the only way to build trust and teamwork. Armed with new technology and new best practices, we’re learning new ways to connect on a human level with people anywhere, anytime,” says Dr. Jaclyn Kostner, an expert on virtual teamwork. “Studies like Meetings in America III show us that having these technologies is the ante to get into the game. Mastering how to use them is what will distinguish the winners from the losers.”

Apparently, 91 percent of American workers agree that Web conferencing and other forms of virtual meetings save their companies money and time. The number one reason that employees want to participate in virtual teams more often? Increased productivity – a factor cited by 32 percent of the respondents.

Here’s how the work gets done – and how project teams get together virtually: Email, the most popular communication tool, is used by 94 percent, with audioconferencing used by 70 percent. Among the most widely used communication tools are fax, cellular, intranet or extranet, online calendar or scheduling tools, paging, Web conferencing and videoconferencing.

The study marks the third annual Meetings in America survey sponsored by WorldCom Conferencing. Modalis Research Technologies conducted this year’s survey. Data was collected in January 2001 from 510 managers and staff from American businesses of all sizes. To review the complete results on the Web, visit WorldCom provides e-meeting services, including audio, video and Web conferencing, Webcasting and meeting support tools.

Tim Reedy, WorldCom vice president of Conferencing Marketing and Finance, says: “While it may not be right for all the people all the time, in today’s global economy, proactively adopting and encouraging virtual work is essential. Services like WorldCom Conferencing enable customers to conduct e-business as usual without having to pack up and take meetings on the road.”