The way teams communicate and collaborate has changed forever.
For years, organisations have been discussing the potential switch to a more “virtual” workspace, and digital teams. However, in 2020, the path to digital transformation accelerated for almost every business. The pandemic of COVID-19 prevented organisations from continuing to operate as-normal in office environments. Physical teams become virtual overnight.
Technology emerged as the life support of modern companies. With cloud-based software, employees could remain just as productive out of the office as they were inside it. Through chat and collaboration tools, we could work on projects together with ease. For those essential face-to-face interactions, video became the communication medium of choice.
Now, it’s evident that the future of work post-covid will continue to be digitally enhanced, with virtual and hybrid workforces replacing the in-office environment. In this new environment, companies will need to ensure that the right video systems in place to maintain both company culture, and staff productivity.
Here are some of the most important best-practices for better collaboration via video.
Start with the Right Software
The video conferencing market is now expected to reach a value of $9.2 billion by 2027. As video-first cultures continue to pave the way for better employee engagement in a digital world, more companies are emerging to offer VCaaS (Video Conferencing as a Service) solutions.
Most video systems offer similar features, like the ability to host one-on-one or group calls, webinar and streaming capabilities, and even cloud recording. However, it’s important for business leaders to consider their options carefully when they’re trying to augment team collaboration.
Think about how your employees work each day. Will presentations be a regular occurrence for your workforce, and if so, how can they share screens and content during a video meeting? Are your employees working from different parts of the world? Is real-time translation and transcription possible to make the video meeting more accessible to everyone?
Your video software will also need to work seamlessly with other tools your employees use to support better productivity. Make sure that the solution you access will integrate with your UCaaS technology, or even your contact centre tools.
Plan Meetings Carefully
Video is just one part of a successful collaborative environment today, but it’s an essential factor. As teams continue to get used to video interactions, it’s important for business leaders not to forget about the basics of good team interactions. Planning an agenda carefully and sharing information that employees need to know in advance will help to keep team members fully engaged in the conversation.
You can also plan the kind of video experiences that you want to host, based on the impact you want your conversation to have. For instance, if you’re discussing new ideas for your company’s next product, you might have one presenter in your meeting with a whiteboard and everyone else’s video in a grid setting.
Prepare Team Members with Quick Tips
87% of remote team members say they feel more connected to colleagues when using video. However, for that sense of camaraderie to develop, everyone needs to be participating in video meetings with their camera turned on, and the right strategy for etiquette in place. For employees that aren’t used to video yet, send out a quick video tutorial on how to use important features, like mute, virtual backgrounds, and screen sharing.
It’s also worth giving your employees a list of “quick tips” they can follow to reduce their chances of video mistakes. For instance, let them know what you expect to see them wearing when they come to a video meeting (business attire is a must). Ensure that everyone knows to mute when someone else is talking and ask staff to find a quiet space to join a meeting from, to reduce distractions.
Guiding team members through some of the features they’ll use and setting expectations early will help to prevent unnecessary hiccups.
Advise Teams on When to Use Video
Video is becoming the natural choice for communication today. It’s one of the easiest ways to replicate face-to-face conversations and build human connections between teams. However, there will be times when video is less effective. For instance, if you’re discussing a sensitive topic, it’s probably not a good idea for someone to jump into a video call if they’re in a public space where other people could listen in.
Video can be ideal when your employees want to bring more of a human element to a conversation, share visual content, or give a presentation. But quick updates might be better delivered through chat messages in a collaboration app instead.
It’s also worth ensuring that your employees know how to use calendar systems with their video conferencing tools to set meetings at a time that makes sense. If you’re working with employees from around the world, it’s important that meetings aren’t running at a time that doesn’t make sense for one of your distant team members.
Take Full Advantage of Available Features
Finally, remember that video conferencing isn’t just good for collaboration because it brings people together in a face-to-face environment. Many of the leading VCaaS solutions on the market today can also help to promote more immersive team working experiences by allowing people to share content in real-time, present digital content through their screen, and more.
If you want to unlock the power of video for your collaboration strategy, then it’s important to take the time to discover exactly what your service can offer. Is there a broadcasting facility that you can use when you need to reach a wide number of staff members at the same time? Can you set up live-streaming videos, or record meetings that other team members can’t attend?
Once you’ve found the features your team members are most likely to use, give everyone the chance to grow accustomed to them. Some time testing out new and exciting features with your staff can be a great bonding experience, and it also helps to ensure that meetings run more smoothly in the future.