Cisco has unveiled the findings of a global study uncovering market-driving perceptions of video collaboration technologies in the workplace. The research, conducted by Ipsos Mori, polled an international sample of workers from across 12 countries and found that the benefits of telepresence and video conferencing are extending well beyond the highly touted benefits of cost and travel reduction.

Benefits such as building trust, improving group collaboration, and increasing competitive advantage, have emerged as nearly equally important factors that are also less commonly studied.

Among the key findings, an overwhelming majority of frequent users -- 90 percent -- believe video collaboration technologies save them at least two hours of valuable work time a week. One-third of survey respondents who frequently use video collaboration solutions estimate they save close to one full day -- seven hours or more -- per week. That adds up to more than two months of time a single employee can gain back over the course of a year.

Although both users and nonusers recognize the value of video collaboration technologies (76 vs. 60 percent, respectively), workers who frequently use the technology overwhelmingly value some of the qualitative benefits more than nonusers; for example, increasing competitive advantage (73 percent of frequent users vs. 42 percent of nonusers), bringing people closer together (71 percent of frequent users vs. 40 percent of nonusers), and improving work-life balance (70 percent of frequent users vs. 37 percent of nonusers).

All respondents, including users and nonusers, agree that video collaboration enhances the communication experience when they are working from home (68 percent), helps maintain operations if work is disrupted (67 percent), improves group collaboration (67 percent), reduces confusion (67 percent), and projects a forward-looking view of an organization (64 percent).

Globally, the highest percentage of workers who believe they can experience time savings of seven hours or more per week is China (46 percent). 20 percent of Russian workers report they are able to save more than seven hours per week through the use of video collaboration and telepresence.

More than half (56 percent) of the respondents in China use video collaboration technology, more than double the respondents of any other country.

More than two-thirds (68 percent) of all respondents perceive environmental benefits to using video collaboration technology, either through enhancing environmental responsibility or as a benefit of reduced travel. Across all 12 markets, at least half of the workers see some environmental benefit.

One-third of those polled who are not currently using video collaboration solutions say they would be likely to do so if it were available to them. The percentage of workers who have the technology available but do not currently use it is much higher in France (54 percent) than other markets, such as the United States. (21 percent), Sweden (13 percent), Germany (13 percent) and Spain (13 percent).

The online survey, conducted by Ipsos Mori in May and June 2010, polled 500 workers in each of the following key markets: United States, Australia, China, Russia, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Respondents were 18 years of age or older, work full or part time, take part in at least one work-related call per week, and work in an organization with at least 250 employees globally. Full study details can be foundhere.