When the pandemic struck in early 2020, no one thought we’d still be following strict guidelines, working from home, or that thousands of businesses would close their doors. However, despite the negative outcomes of our pandemic response, we’ve seen businesses across the nation stepping up to the challenge by providing the right tools for a smooth office-to-home transition and continued success. Conferencing services have played a vital role in this shift. The ability to keep in touch, communicate effectively, and collaborate remotely on projects has kept these businesses afloat. Let’s take a closer look at how video conferencing can improve, not just facilitate, the remote work experience.
The Right Platform
When it comes to conferencing services, you need to keep a wary eye out for platforms that fall short of the new standard. Since the shift to majority work from home infrastructures, we expect a lot more from our conferencing platforms than ever before.
When you choose the right platform to meet your specific business needs, you’re not only going to reap the maximum value of the service, but you’re also going to increase productivity while decreasing frustration. If you have a service that isn’t reliable, doesn’t provide the features you need, like multi-stream video conferencing or privacy controls, or simply costs too much, it becomes a hindrance rather than an asset.
Premium conferencing platforms offer more than just a platform to talk on. You want to use a platform that offers HD video conferencing, webinar hosting services, meeting recording, and more. The standard for a premium conferencing service has risen, so be aware of what features you should expect while you’re shopping around. If you’re not checking off all the features you need it might be time to look elsewhere. Remember that the tools you provide your team with can make a huge difference in their overall performance.
Whether you’re a new startup or an established business, you’re going to think about the cost of your conferencing platform. You may be tempted to use a service that offers a “freemium” option. But keep in mind that those packages will most likely be handicapped with time and participant limits and no access to any customer service you may need along the way.
Good communication is the essence of any successful relationship, but it’s absolutely critical for professional teams, even if they’ve been working together for an extended period of time. After some time, you know what to expect from your team, but that doesn’t mean you should stop communicating. Things change, people change, and the more clear and precise expectations are, the more productive everyone will be.
This is especially true with remote teams. Since you can’t meet by the water cooler for a quick chat, you need a tool that can help facilitate effective communication across the entirety of your operations. Teams have the potential to become complacent when they’re too comfortable, and complacency is the bane of productivity. Frequent, high-quality communication helps prevent this harmful behavior and keeps everyone in the loop.
Video conferencing services help bridge the distance that can creep in when working remotely. Humans are social by nature, and not seeing your team for days on end can create something of a disconnect. A video chat brings teams together, providing the face-to-face feeling of being in the same room.
Additionally, hiring managers are utilizing conferencing tools during the hiring process. These tools help bridge the gap between long-distance employers and grants access to a larger talent pool. Not to mention, it’s easier (and often quicker) to host several video conference interviews in a row than to host in-person interviews. It’s also not always possible to meet in person—especially across national boundaries.
A large portion of our communication is body language, and much of that is lost during audio phone calls. Step up your team communication by using a video conferencing service instead, and you’ll see a difference in the way your team interacts, and streamline your hiring process at the same time.
Sharing your screen with the team makes presentations, onboarding exercises, and training sessions more effective and cohesive. Not every conferencing service supports robust screen sharing. Without screen-sharing, in-app messaging, and file-sharing capabilities, you’re going to spend more money on a third-party service to meet those extra needs.
Let’s not forget that webinars can add extra value to your business offering valuable information to those within and outside of the organization. Many businesses create presentations using webinar hosting platforms, which is an effective way to provide content to a large audience whether your goal is an internal all-hands meeting or reaching your target audience to increase brand awareness.
Tips For Effective Video Meetings
Even with the best tools in the business, you still need to focus on conference call etiquette. If everyone is speaking out of turn, interrupting, or calling in with extra background noise, it won’t matter that you have a stable, high-definition video and audio feed and screen sharing capabilities
First and foremost, keep your meetings short and concise. Longer meetings tend to be less productive, because, let’s be honest—we start tuning out after about an hour in a conference call or meeting room. That’s a natural response, but it’s one that needs to be mitigated to keep production and focus up. It’s a good idea to adopt the philosophy of hosting meetings that are always under one hour long.
Keeping things professional is also important. You’re still “at work” in a sense, so don’t show up in your pyjamas half asleep. Be prepared to listen and, if you’re presenting, have everything you need already prepared before you join the call. Also, be on time. Being late can make others feel like you don’t value their time, and it just looks bad in a professional sense.
Many of us are surprised by how much we actually miss the office. Those long mornings stuck in traffic seem like a distant memory and having conversations with other people in passing feels like a luxury long lost to 2020’s unique challenges. Be honest—you miss your co-workers. We do, too!
Seeing the faces of loved ones and co-workers is important to our mental health, especially during periods of isolation. If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us, it’s that we can’t live without each other. Luckily, today’s technology keeps us connected, even when we have to disconnect physically to stay safe.
It’s also shown us the importance of communication, especially with remote teams. Many businesses have actually flourished using a remote model and will move forward with some or all of their employees working from home permanently. With the right video conferencing software, you can reduce overhead costs and improve communication across the board. There’s no reason not to try one today!