We've not been using video conferencing long enough for a corporate culture and protocol to take shape. Also, we don't yet have people in the same office using the technology (there seems to be little interest), and with only a few exceptions, all the of the video is employee-to-employee. Still, a few protocols have emerged.
First, you don't initiate an instant-messenger conversation with a request for a video conversation. You start with a text chat, and then if the conversation seems to warrant a richer communications experience, one of the participants says, "Wanna go to video?"
Second, you can always decline video, and you don't have to give a reason. Let's be honest: video is an intrusion into a home, even if it's a home office. We make lots of jokes about "let me put some clothes on first," though I suspect that it's more often someone wanting to look in the mirror to see if there's any food stuck in her teeth, or just running a comb through his hair. (Video conferencing hasn't inspired me to shave more often; my justification is that the resolution isn't good enough to see the difference. If I'm wrong, don't tell me.)
Work In Progress
At this point, video conferencing seems to be more trouble than it's worth. Not all employees are on the system, and there's no firm idea when the technical issues will be resolved. Not all employees are convinced of the value of the technology, in fact some are downright hostile.
Still, I'm encouraged. At least one employee has commented that this has made her feel less isolated, and I did one employee annual review using video conferencing, and it was a much better experience than doing it over the phone. (Never, ever do an employee review via E-mail or any other non-real-time medium.)
Ain't it fun being an early adopter?