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ROLE OF VIDEO-CONFERENCING PLATFORMS TO CHANGE THE FACE OF COMMUNICATION DURING THE LOCKDOWN

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Abstract

People are unable to move out of their home during the lockdown situation, leading to no personal contact between one another. They cannot choose travel, jobs, entertainment, conferences, schools, colleges, etc., because there is a restriction on the movement of a person outside the house and the availability of various transport services unless it is very necessary. Although, various restrictions are placed on human personal contact, yet, they are interconnected for all possible activities using video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and more. This paper highlights all the important roles of Video-Conferencing Platforms (VCP) during COVID19 lockdown in India and discusses towards changing the face of communication with all.
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DIP: 18.21.716954795.058
ROLE OF VIDEO-CONFERENCING PLATFORMS TO CHANGE THE FACE OF
COMMUNICATION DURING THE LOCKDOWN
AKASH GUPTA
Assistant Professor,
Department of Management Studies,
Ramniranjan Jhunjhunwala College (Autonomous),
Ghatkopar, Mumbai, Maharashtra,India.
ABSTRACT
People are unable to move out of their home during the lockdown situation, leading to
no personal contact between one another. They cannot choose travel, jobs, entertainment,
conferences, schools, colleges, etc., because there is a restriction on the movement of a
person outside the house and the availability of various transport services unless it is very
necessary. Although, various restrictions are placed on human personal contact, yet, they are
interconnected for all possible activities using video conferencing platforms like Zoom,
Skype, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and more. This paper highlights all the important roles
of VideoConferencing Platforms (VCP) during COVID19 lockdown in India and discusses
towards changing the face of communication with all.
Keywords:Lockdown, COVID19, Video-conferencing Platforms, Communication
1. INTRODUCTION
The current scenario of the COVID19 epidemic severely affects day-to-day life on
individuals. In India, the lockdown began in the last week of March and continues till July
and further, unlocking phases have also been initiated by the government to make everything
happen as before. This lockdown period has a negative impact on humans, where they lack
personal contact with each other.They wanted to meet each other physically, but were not
able to do so due to the situation outside. Although these problems exist, they met their need
because technological advancement can do everything that people think. So everyone started
using video conferencing platforms and video calls to maintain face-to-face interactions.
1.1.COVID19 Lockdown
COVID19 lockdown is a difficult time, where the human is feeling like a bird packed
in a cage. This is a long-term lockdown that continues even after 4 months. The lockdown is
applied to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID 19), a life-threatening virus that
spreads from person to person like a human chain.
1.2.Video Conferencing Platforms (VCP)
Video conferencing is an extremely convenient use of technology that allows users in
various locations to hold face-to-face meetings. (Investopedia, 2019)There are many ways to
use video conferencing technology such as school or college classes, job training and
interviews, academic or non-academic research conferences etc. Internet connectivity is used
on the devices when connecting to everyone on the Internet using different platforms
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available such as Zoom, Microsoft Team, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoTo Meeting, Skype
for Businesses, ezTalks Meetings, Star Leaf, etc.
1.3.Communication UsingVCP
Communication is simply the act of transferring information from one place, person
or group to another. Every communication involves a sender, a message and a
recipient.During the lockdown period many people start using video conferencing platforms
to keep in touch with each other. Here, communication was completed with good internet
connectivity with the help of mobile/ computer. The video conferencing platform provides
servers that disseminate information among all.
1.4.Importance of VCP during Lockdown
The video conferencing platform has been widely used as a medium of
communication by everyone during the longest lockdown in India for connectivity, which has
never occurred due to any epidemic situation. Communication between humans is very
important. Life will not last without communication. The video conferencing platform is
playing an important role for creating high level human interaction in various fields such as
educational (academic) activities, commercial and business meetings, health communication,
government meetings, conferences, friends and family interactions, and more. These
connectivity are important for the general public, businesses, organizations and institutions
and others for day-to-day work and to meet their needs, which only happened due to video
conferencing platforms.
1.5. Benefits offered byVCP
It allows sharing of presentations, documents, screens, etc. on a real-time basis.
Convenient to attend meetings at any location, including rural or remote locations.
It provides a place where two-way communication with teams or large participants is
possible.
Reduction in travel costs and travel to the meeting place.
A large number of participants can attend the meeting so that no physical space is
required to gather in one place.
It provides participants with audio, video, and chat space that helps them complete
meeting successfully in a proper way.
It provides a recording feature of the meeting that can be saved and used for future
reference.
1.6. Disadvantages of VCP
Security can be compromised as a private video conferencing session may get
hacked(Alan, 2009).
Personal contact with each other does not exist unlike traditional meetings.
For meetings, video conferencing is more effective if the participants already know each
other. (Rop&Bett, 2012)
Lack of interaction between the organizer and the attendees or between the attendees
themselves.
Technology can degrade received images and sound. Body language may be lost if image
movement is jerky.
Voice delays can occur due to Internet or technical errors.
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2. DURING THE COVID-19 ROLE OF VIDEO- CONFERENCING COMMUNICATION
2.1.VCP and Educational (Academic) Activities
The situation present during the lockdown has affected the breakdown in teaching-learning
activity, academic meeting, examination etc., almost all the examinations were cancelled due
to the lockdown. (Gupta and Goplani, 2020) In India, all academicians have started upgrading
themselves for online connectivity with students for the purpose of teaching learning. Video
conferencing platforms help a lot in carrying out these activities smoothly. Teachers of all
levels, whether schools or colleges, have started using applications such as Zoom, Google
Meet, Cisco Webex, etc. for learning teaching activity.
2.2.VCP and Continuing to Work
With lockdown, video communication has become an important part of technology in a work
capacity, to get many people out of the office. Many teams are now using cloud-based
services such as Cisco Vibex, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc. to negotiate
based on their choice, needs and price range. As we all know, face-to-face interaction at the
workplace is a necessity, using only written and verbal communication when so much
information is lost or misplaced - the ability to see each other clearly during virtual meetings
Has helped eliminate these issues. A more effective and productive working experience for
all of us. (McKenna, 2020)
2.3.VCP and Commercial communication
During the state of this epidemic, the business is running smoothly and is also taking care of
its employees. The video conferencing platform helped in achieving smooth communication
at all levels using various software. The business communications such as product
demonstration to customers, leading team performance, top level management meeting etc.
are conducted on video conferencing platforms, which play a very important role in
communication.
2.4. VCP and HR Process
The cost savings may allow more candidates to be interviewed from remote locations. With
data sharing, CVs can be viewed and discussed online.(Rop&Bett, 2012) Companies have
taken the growing global health crisis very seriously and are concerned about the health of
their employees and until it is a public health emergency, corporate move their entire
recruitment strategy, training, staff orientation, etc. to virtual platforms are doing.
2.5. VCP and Healthcare
Video conferencing platforms have played an important role in healthcare communication
during this epidemic lockdown which is also a demand of the situation. Some activities such
as healthcare education, health care delivery, healthcare management, screening of diseases,
information and awareness about diseases, prevention of measures, etc. have become possible
due to video conferencing platforms.
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2.6. VCP and Government Communication
During this epidemic lockdown, the role of the government should be associated with the
authorities of every central or state. The government conducts video conferences to
communicate with each other about how to deal with the situation, control measures, steps for
unlocking lockdown, etc.,where they feel a personal touch with each other and for the welfare
of the country Worked smoothly. Prime Minister Modi holds various meetings with the Chief
Minister of the state regarding these activities and also offered various help. Video
conferencing has played a very important role in every way to keep the work going during
this lockdown.
2.7. VCP and Friends and Family Talks
One of the biggest things we have noticed recently is how family and friends maintain
contact with the help of video meeting platforms and apps. Through video calls across the
many platforms available, grandparents have been able to chat with their grandchildren,
families living in divided families have been able to maintain a degree of togetherness, and
friends can talk, Have been able to play games and connect with each other. Regularly. These
social contacts are very important lately with the lack of physical contact and help keep
spirits high for all of us during really difficult times. Video communication apps such as
Google Duo, WhatsApp Call, Skype, Hangout etc. played an important role here. (McKenna,
2020)
3. POST-COVID19, PROSPECTS OF VIDEO-CONFERENCING COMMUNICATION
Video conferencing platforms are used to enable more time-effective real-time
communication at minimal cost and it saves a lot of time to travel somewhere. This increases
the efficiency of organizations and other outcomes that will result in them being able to use
video conferencing platforms for their businesses in the future. Therefore, the possibility of
using this platform is increasing in the coming years.
The popular policy of 'working from home' in many companies has led to an
unprecedented increase in the use of video conferencing. For example, ZOOM Cloud
Meetings a free HD meeting app, was becoming popular among users until it was reported
for various security issues in the video conferencing market. Therefore, the Ministry of
Electronics and Information Technology in India recently announced for the Innovation
Challenge for the development of a video conferencing (VC) solution under the Digital India
program. Security issues associated with the ZOOM Cloud Meetings app have led to the
introduction of alternative video conferencing apps, especially in India. India is one of the
leading economies in the Asia Pacific region and contributes to the overall revenue growth of
the region, which is projected to leap from 19% market share in 2020 to approximately24%
by 2030 of the video conferencing market. (Transparency Market Research, 2020)
As the technology continues to improve, here are some of the trends regarding the increase in
demand for video conferencing platforms:
A large proportion of India's population is under the age of 34, that is, over 65 years
(Wikipedia). The younger generation demands a virtual workplace because they are
technologically advanced. Therefore, in India, it is a possibility for video
conferencing platforms to move forward in future.
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During the lockdown, many companies that are not conducting interviews on the
video conferencing medium have started it. This may be an indicator of the adoption
of video conferencing platforms in the future for various HR processes such as
interviews, training, employee orientation, and more.
The video conferencing platform offers various benefits such as cost reduction in
travel, no physical space for human gathering, reduction in cost of electricity, other
maintenance cost reduction, etc., also indicates that demand for it will increase in the
future. Because every business organization wants to use optimum resources to
increase its efficiency.
Prior to the lockdown, everyone had a teleconference call to talk to each other, as
human personal interactions were present there. Due to the lack of personal
interaction during this lockdown, they started using video conferencing services,
which allows participants to communicate at multiple levels beyond a traditional
phone call. Through looking at facial expressions and body language, participants are
able to experience various non-verbal cues, often making up 93 percent of standard
communication. Through virtual reality, participants can have even more virtual
meetings in the future.
73% of employees believe that companies should adopt some level of work from
home (Cushman& Wakefield, 2020), which clearly indicates that demand for various
technology platforms including video conferencing will increase.
4. CONCLUSION
Overall, video conferencing platforms provide the easiest way of contact with each
other where everyone can interact face-to-face. The role of video conferencing platforms
during the COVID19 lockdown has become the most widely used means of communication
in various fields such as educational, business and commercial, healthcare, conference,
human resources, friends and family, etc. The lockdown has transformed the face of
communication from a face-to-face personal touch into a virtual platform(i.e. on VCP,
whereit makes sense of 'at least face-to-face interaction' between participants.)However, this
platform has some disadvantages, but it also offers various benefits that make it a good means
of communication during lockdown.With the progress and ease of availability of high-speed
and cheap Internet connections, it is expected that videoconferencing will become
increasingly popular, leading to greater interest and use for various purposes.
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Article
Full-text available
'The critical component in crisis management is communication', but somehow the vague concept of 'communication' is always cited as a problem in in-crisis situations. Furthermore, available corporate communication literature mainly focuses on pre- and postcrisis reputational communication, relying only on following lists or a linear one-way push of information for the in-crisis stages. The exploratory method of reflective or interpretive action research of a hazardous material emergency desk-top simulation exercise was used to examine (1) what is meant by the term communication in the in-crisis situation, and (2) the contribution that corporate communication and the corporate communication practitioner can make during an in-crisis situation. This study found that there is confusion regarding the term communication, but even more, that each person involved also interpreted the term slightly differently, which could easily lead to confusion and/or the creation of an unclear common operating picture. The extent of the contribution that the corporate communication practitioner, as conduit of the corporate communication discipline, can make is also discussed. This paper comes to the conclusion that the contribution of corporate communication to the in-crisis situation will greatly add to the successful clearing up of an emergency situation.
How video has kept us ALL in touch during COVID
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McKenna, T. (2020, April 6). How video has kept us ALL in touch during COVID-
Video Conferencing Technology Trends of 2020
  • J Stowers
Stowers, J. (2020, April 20). Video Conferencing Technology Trends of 2020. In Business.com. Retrieved from https://www.business.com/articles/video-conferencingtech-trends-2020/
The future of video conferencing-3 trends breathing new life into a decades old industry
Office Team,. (2016, June 14). The future of video conferencing-3 trends breathing new life into a decades old industry. In Microsoft. Retrieved from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2016/06/14/the-future-of-videoconferencing/