With so many advantages to using video, it’s clear why many organizations are already taking measures to build video technology into their systems. Not clued in yet? Here are some of the top benefits you and your team can enjoy from using video calling technology:

Save on time.

You can’t overstate enough the sheer convenience of being able to hold meetings without any need to travel to a particular location. Your days of having to brave the subway for those daily commutes or board public transportation or drive through less-than-wonderful weather conditions, just to get to that meeting place, just to be there for a meeting, are now over.

Imagine the stress and exhaustion, not to mention the compromised safety or health, you experience whenever you commute to and from a meeting place, especially when travel conditions aren’t optimum. With video conferencing, you can kiss those days goodbye.

Save on costs.

Aside from the reduction in travel, you also get to save on a lot of the expenses that usually go along with travel. No need to book your employees in hotels for three days or overnight conferences. No need to waste shekels on plane tickets or rental fees whenever you pay for a big venue for the meeting. And when it’s really important, you can cut down those 10 days of boot camp or team building into five or seven.

The rest of the lectures and materials, you can deliver and share online. Also, if you’re looking to upgrade your communication platform, opting for cloud based video calling technologies offers you huge savings. There’s no longer any need for you to lose sleep or hair over massive infrastructure issues, maintenance problems and cost outlay. With video conferencing, you can keep operating costs down without compromising or disregarding your communication needs.

Maximum productivity.

Video technology has made remote teams and remote work a reality. Bad weather? You don’t have to get to the office to go to work. This has also changed hiring practices and the way management retains and keeps their best people. Do any of your employees need to relocate? You won’t have to let  them go. Nix the rehiring costs as well as the downtime that comes with hiring and training a new employee. More and more employees are looking for telecommute opportunities. Retain high-performing, high-value assets in your team by offering them work from home incentives.

Set Up: How it Works

So how does it work? Here are a few handy pointers from BizTech on how you can set up video conferencing for your business:

1. Prepare the room. Make sure there aren’t any windows. If that isn’t possible, then position the cameras in a way that keeps them from pointing to the windows. Also, blinds should be used to reduce problems with lighting. This will also help in eliminating distractions in the background as well keeping sound quality whole.

2. Pick the best spot for the camera. The ideal location is above the display or simply near the middle. If you’ve got a two-screen system, then put the camera between the displays. Remember that the camera should be located just above the conference table’s height. This will help keep in sight participants who are farthest from the desk. Put the mike in the middle so everyone’s voices can be heard.

3. Design furniture for good sight lines. Oval tables and chairs with lower backs—those that don’t block out other participants, work best here.

4. Arrange hardware to maximize data collaboration. If you’ve got whiteboards, make sure the camera has a clear view of them. That way, offsite participants can see the presentations with ease.

Finding the right tool for your video conferencing

Excited to begin? With help from Lifehacker and Hongkiat, here are some of the top names in conferencing systems to get you on your way:

1. Skype: It’s free, functional and has enough features to keep you and your team happy. Of course, since most companies already use Skype for their messaging needs, some are more keen on finding alternatives for video calling services.

2. GoToMeeting: However, if you the group video calling feature in Skype is fine for you and your team, go for it. This is, however, not web-based so if you’re looking for cloud based solutions, better move on to the next one on the list.

3. Blue Jeans: Video conferencing with Blue Jeans Network offers one of the best user experiences out there. With features designed to answer a variety of communication needs, Blue Jeans is often the default choice for businesses worldwide.

4. Google Hangouts: If you want something simple, you can’t go wrong with Google Hangouts. Able to support chats and group video calling, it’s another advantage to having a Gmail account. However, if something does go wrong, you might have a bit of trouble with snags and bugs. As a relatively new service, Google is still in the process of rolling out updates and fixes for this one.