In an encouraging sign that the benefits of video conferencing are being realised, the U.S. government has recently introduced a bill to mandate the use of video conferencing in government departments in a move to slash the current $15 billion annual travel bill.
The bill has been introduced by Mike Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and aims to reduce the federal travel bill by 50% . The bill states that “While the Administration has made efforts to utilise video conferencing and reduce travel expenses, such practices are still a largely untapped means of saving taxpayer dollars”
It goes on to say “Video conferencing can be used by Federal employees instead of or in addition to telephones and email to enhance communication and problem solving, to reduce associated carbon footprints, to facilitate staff training and interagency meetings, and to increase employee productivity, thereby helping shorten project timelines, promote efficiency, improve collaboration among coworkers across the country, and improve work-life balance.”, highlighting that whilst travel savings are usually the immediately identifiable justification for video conferencing, the many other benefits stack up to become a very tangiable justification.
The comments and justification for video conferencing closely mirror those of the Australian government who deployed a national TelePresence rollout with the aim to reduce the number of face-to-face meetings for ministers and senior officials, improve productivity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
With both governments leading with travel savings as the initial cost savings and justification for video conferencing, it is good to see that in both cases improved communications and collaboration across the respective governments is also a key factor.
A lot of the key reasons and benefits for both the U.S. and Australian governments for implementing video conferencing are not limited to government and are more than applicable to businesses both small and large and this take up from government is a great indicator to the bright future for video conferencing and the savings and improvement to communication that can be had by business today.
Please see the below links for reference –
Australian Government National Telepresence System – http://agimo.gov.au/collaboration-services-skills/national-telepresence-system/