Featured Article from Conferencing

Finding: Younger Business Owners Embracing Conferencing Options

January 13, 2015

In new survey findings that likely surprised no one, younger small business owners were found to use conferencing services and video conferencing to improve their work-life balance more often than their older counterparts.

The survey by InterCall, a conferencing services specialist, found that of 200 younger SMB owners asked, some 70 percent use audio and video conferencing technology to make their lives better. But despite those encouraging numbers, they’re not quite at their peak usage just yet.

“Although the majority of small-business owners use conferencing tools, the findings suggest they may not be using them to their fullest potential, with 39 percent of small-business owners spending more than 10 hours and $100 per month on business travel and few of them (32 percent) enjoying a healthy work-life balance,” eWeek reported on the survey.

The findings also revealed some new insights into the younger vs. older differences, eWeek reported. To wit:

  • Twenty-one percent of 18-to-29-year-old business owners surveyed said they spend more than $100 per month on professional travel, versus 40 percent of their elders;
  • Nearly all (97 percent) of 18-to-29-year-old small-business owners surveyed said they still work full time, between 35 and 50 hours per week, while enjoying a healthy work-life balance;
  • Younger respondents are nearly twice as likely to feel that they have an optimal work-life balance than 45 to 60 year-olds (56 percent versus 30 percent), and older small-business owners are six times more likely to work 50+ hour weeks than their younger counterparts (24 percent versus four percent);
  • Younger SMB owners are more likely to use conferencing services to improve their work-life balance; 72 percent of younger small-business owners (between 18 and 29 years old) have adopted conferencing and collaboration tools, compared with just 53 percent of owners between 45 and 60.

"Conferencing usage will continue to grow, and it will also expand beyond traditional audio calls into Web and video meetings," Dennis Collins, director of marketing at InterCall, told eWeek. "If you agree that our economy is becoming more service-oriented and more global, then many new SMBs will be companies of knowledge workers no longer geographically constrained like their predecessors."

Their ease and comfort with conferencing technology should not be surprising, Collins noted, because this generation grew up with chat, IM and online gaming.

"They are more technologically immersed than previous generations,” he said. “Combine that technology immersion with a predisposition to collaborate and ‘groupthink’, and it's understandable that younger users embrace these tools.”