As virtual communication becomes a mainstay throughout the pandemic and beyond, optimize your videoconference practices for better employee experiences and heightened operational outcomes.
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The spread of Coronavirus across the globe has drastically changed almost every business. Operations have been restructured and working from home is now the norm, rather than the exception. These changes are likely to stick around post-pandemic, meaning it is essential for companies to properly structure internal communications to keep employees organized and productive — not just for the short-term but for the long-haul.
The most important thing? Staying connected. Investing in the right communications tools and adopting best practices around remote work can make all the difference for your team that can have lasting, positive reverberating effects.
Why Use Video Communication Over Email?
Social distancing guidelines make face-to-face communications more important than ever. Seeing colleagues online not only helps combat the emotional rigors of isolation but also increases cooperation and productivity, according to scientific studies.
One of the benefits of video conferencing is that you can see body language and facial expressions, which are important contextual clues that may be lost when relying solely on emails or instant messaging.
Video meetings also encourage employees to wear more work-appropriate clothes. Motivating employees to dress as though they are still in the office can offer more structure to their day, keeping them in the psychological space to be more productive at home.
Leaders should encourage their teams to show themselves on camera as much as possible, and let workers know videoconferencing should be adopted as the preferred method to conduct meetings.
How to Make the Most of Your Videoconferencing Suite:
- Take advantage of screen sharing: Many videoconferencing tools offer screen sharing features that can be a great asset, not only for reviewing important projects but for ideation and creative sessions as well. Use a blank Microsoft word document in lieu of a whiteboard to sketch out thought clouds, for example. For a more interactive experience, combine screen sharing with shared, cloud-based document applications so that all participants can add their ideas simultaneously while still being able to see their colleagues. However, be sure to assign one member as a moderator to guarantee these documents do not become too unruly.
- Record and post meetings for the group: One of the many benefits of using a videoconferencing tool is the built-in recording feature. While meetings in the office would usually need one member to be a scribe to take down important notes, virtual meeting applications can do it for you. This makes it easier to review or clarify any important decisions. For longer meetings, companies can combine these recordings with transcription services, powered by artificial intelligence, to pinpoint and consolidate key topics for later reference.
- Assign a meeting watcher to stay on task: During remote meetings, there is an even greater tendency for participants to multitask, to experience distractions or to tune in and out. For each meeting, write out an agenda with important areas to discuss, and designate one person to make sure conversations stay on the tasks at hand. Additionally, encourage large group meetings to be as short as possible. It’s much easier for individuals to follow up one on one afterward to clarify certain points.
While these virtual solutions may not be ideal, through flexibility, ingenuity and the right applications, companies can create a work environment that facilitates excellent results and happy employees.
Stay tuned for more advice on how to manage evolving business operations during the Coronavirus pandemic and beyond.