In today’s economy, all companies have one thing in common—they’re constantly looking for ways to cut costs. Whether your business is small or large, nonprofit or for profit, the best companies are consistently seeking out ways to make their processes and people as efficient as possible. Online meetings are one way to do that.

According to the Verizon Conferencing’s Meetings in America study, professionals who are extremely busy attend more than 60 meetings every month. While some executives still believe in the power of face-to-face meetings, most will acknowledge it’s just not possible all the time, especially for companies with multiple branches, global clients and remote workers. Fortunately, many also find that online meetings are just as effective as in-person meetings for most situations.

Five Ways FI - 1

Here are five reasons your company can save big when you implement a strong online meeting tool:

  1. You get one tool that allows multiple venues of communication, including voice, video, online chat and more. Bundling services in this way will usually cost less up front, and you’ll also save on IT resources when troubleshooting is required. In addition, migrating to one communication tool helps your people by giving them less to master. Less training is required and less time is wasted.
  2. Involving more people through a virtual setting results in fewer meetings overall. With the right online meeting tool, you can include hundreds of people on your company calls and they can connect remotely, no matter where they are. Giving people the ability to connect whether they’re at home, sick or traveling can lead to fewer repeat meetings and a more efficient use of your people’s time. And time saved equals higher productivity, which can lead to an increase in revenue.
  3. Less travel is required when online meetings are implemented. According to Verizon Conferencing’s study, a five-person meeting conducted in person (with plane travel required) costs seven times as much as an audio conference and three times as much as a video conference. With features like screen sharing, online chat and video conferencing, online meeting tools can significantly reduce the need for business travel.
  4. Online meetings make it easier for employees to telecommute and can lead to fewer overhead expenses. Having workers who telecommute can save your company when it comes to office space, utilities, materials and office supplies. In fact, according to statistics from Global Workplace Analytics, the typical business can save up to $11,000 annually per person who works half their time at home. Investing in an online meeting tool that allows all of your employees to connect effectively is a pittance compared to what you could save in overhead costs.
  5. You can connect globally for less money with online meetings. The cost to connect globally can be outrageous. The right online meeting tool will allow employees—and thus, your company—to save on direct-dial calls when you edit phone numbers to make them as local as possible for each country.

Now that you’re aware of the benefits of online meetings, how do you go about selecting the right tool for your organization? Start by looking for a tool with the following features:

  • Allows you to connect with clients or others who don’t have the same tool.
  • Has bandwidth for hundreds of participants to join the same meeting.
  • Integrates easily with your other programs, so employees can view contacts as well as each other’s calendars and online status.
  • Is highly secure, ensuring protected conversations using authentication and encryption.
  • Allows connection via any device, anywhere in the world.
  • Includes ability to control employee accounts so you can assign features based on each employee’s collaboration needs.

Online video-based meetings have largely replaced in-person meetings and will continue to do so more frequently. Make the jump—your employees and your bottom line will thank you.

Learn how the new Office enables teams to collaborate better than ever.