Get Greener with New On-Line Collaboration Tools – Another Step Forward in Cleaning up the Planet
The workplace has evolved beyond the local factory down the street. Today corporations have offices in different states as well as multiple locations within a state. Conference calls are commonplace in many offices. Teleconferencing is an integral part of the lives of 2% of the U.S. employees that consider home their primary work place; while an estimated 20 to 30 million people currently work at least one day a week from home.

New challenges are faced as the workforce continues to become more geographically distributed. Arranging a meeting is not easy when everyone is not in the same office. Has team productivity lessened due to this trend? Sending emails and having conference calls is not always enough. Brainstorming and sharing presentations benefit from the synergy of a group working together in the same space.

Many businesses pour time and money into travel regardless of cost. If it is jumping into the car to attend a meeting 20 miles away or paying exorbitant airplane fares last minute to get to the other side of the country for a meeting – both decisions are time consuming, costly and congest the environment.

Gas prices continue to climb but something else far more precious and priceless is at risk, the environment. Our cars contribute to 2/3 to the world’s carbon monoxide gases in the atmosphere. In addition carbon dioxide, soot particles, dangerous hydrocarbons, sulfur and nitrogen oxides are released into the air. These substances damage plants, animals and us.

This is old news, and though the majority of workers commute to work, around 30% are telecommuting either full or part time. Workers are car-pooling and using public transport more today then yesterday. Companies have conference calls but also use on-line collaboration services as they go greener.

Sitting around the large conference table and staring at the alien looking polycom voice station as colleagues pop on the line from across the country does save money. This behavior has moved in the direction of a more ecological approach but there are problems. Employees put on the mute button and continue to talk to each other in remote offices or work on the computers while half listening. The synergy is not happening as compared to people who work together in the same space.

Web conferencing products like Cisco WebEx Meeting Center or Adobe Connect provide a new space for workers to share. This form of on-line meeting or on-line webinar takes the conference to a more engaging level. The Cisco and Adobe products provide easy to use collaboration tools and open the experience to a larger audience that can no longer fits around the conference table.

An on-line service verses the simple conference polycom approach provides more of a face-to-face experience with integrated video and audio. The meetings can be recorded and played back to share with those that cannot attend. Adobe Connect can be used to create thought provoking webinars as a cost effective way of training users. There is easy webinar access and event management support. These new on-line meeting webinar tools provide a new approach to training. They increase attendance and have a greater impact on response rates.

Trends continue to develop. The workplace has taken on a mobile component as employees have moved beyond clocking in at 8:00 am and leaving at 5:00 pm. Flexibility lends itself to productivity, but problems are encountered along the way and creative solutions are there to try. Both Cisco and Adobe offer free trial periods for their products. Business should continue to get even greener and go on-line with more engaging conferencing tools.

If you would like to discuss how your company can go greener – please contact us at 800-845-0666 or visit us at

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