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Live video, live streaming, and video messaging solutions — from Snapchat to Periscope, Facebook Messenger to Kik — are changing how the “digital native” generation views the workplace.

And frankly, they’re sick of your inability to adapt.

That’s the key finding in a report released today by BlueJeans Network, and while the company has an obvious interest in the survey it conducted, the study gathered responses from a significant 4,000 employees across the U.S., the U.K., Germany, and France.

Eighty-five percent of respondents said that video is part of their everyday lives, but it appears there is a significant discrepancy between the employees’ usage of video and that of the companies they work for. Only 28 percent say their employers are proactively encouraging them to use video at work to communicate.

I asked Lori Wright, who has been announced today as the new chief marketing officer at BlueJeans Network, about the shift in expectations in the workplace that live video is causing and why the conversation is moving from “cost savings” to “revenue generation.” Wright joins BlueJeans Network after her tenure as CMO of TIBCO, where she led a 100-member strong marketing team.

“Video has been a lesser part of company collaboration for some period of time, primarily because it’s been really hard to use and expensive to set up and maintain,” Wright said. “What’s changing is that companies who make video a part of their first-line communications strategy are overcoming this setup ‘tax’ and now there are solutions that are cost-effective and easy to adopt.”

The workforce of the future agrees.

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The majority of respondents — 72 percent — said that live video has the power to transform the way they communicate at work. What’s more, 69 percent believe that increased use of video conversations would help employee retention at all levels within the organization.

According to Wright, some organizations are ahead of the curve.

“Companies are building video into every room, making it available via kiosks, ensuring their employees can access it on any device, consistently, anywhere they are in the world,” Wright said. “This is the video communication that people love, and they are seeing the direct benefit in workplace productivity.”

Unfortunately, companies that “get it” appear to be in the minority. Only 14 percent of employers are considered good — according to the survey — at providing the kind of communication tools at work that reflect those the employees use at home.

When you focus the results on younger workers — the millennials, who value community, creativity, and family values at their place of work — almost two‐thirds said that their employers could make better use of live video. Their reasons? Culture, collaboration, and training all rank high for today’s workforce, along with reducing email and transforming meetings.

“Live streaming apps are changing the way people work,” Wright said. “The future is really beautiful experiences that are consistent across devices and surprise and delight at every turn. Employees want to collaborate live, but it has to be easy. The cycle time on any interaction accelerates when work is done live. Ninety percent of communication is body language. If you can’t read body language in real time, all the time, then you aren’t seeing the whole picture.”

The study found some cultural differences that are important to note.

Almost 80 percent of U.S. employees said that collaboration and sharing are essential ingredients in a successful company and that the best use for live video is training. In France, troubleshooting customer issues came out on top, and in the U.K. and Germany, the biggest benefit is not having to travel as often.

A total of 4,000 employees, aged 18 – 65+, took part in the BlueJeans Network survey, which is available on the company’s website. Participants were selected from a range of job roles and levels, representing several industry sectors. The companies they work for have anywhere from 100 to 1000+ employees and are located across the U.S., U.K., Germany, and France.


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