Thursday, December 1, 2016

Best Video Conferencing Practices: How to Build a Video Conference Culture


Best Video Conferencing Practices: How to Build a Video Conference Culture

Remote work is undoubtedly on the rise. One recent survey of global business leaders found that half of their employees will be working remotely by the year 2020. That"s why more companies are investing in the best video conferencing tools to streamline their communication.

But it"s more than just having the right software.

In order for video conferencing to be most effective for your business, you need to create a real culture around the practice itself. Otherwise, both your on-site and remote teams will have difficulty staying on the same page.

But what makes video conferencing such an effective communication tool. Aren"t smartphones enough?

Video Conferencing

Actually, no. Let"s quickly go over some key facts about the benefits of communicating with video:

  • Facial expressions and body language are crucial for interpreting communication as accurately as possible.

  • 94% of businesses surveyed found that video conferencing software increased work productivity.

  • Nearly 90% of remote employees surveyed found that video conferencing made them feel more connected with their co-workers.

  • Video conferencing reduces costs and the "time-to-market" wait time.

  • Colleagues can meet wherever and whenever, enabling more productivity.

  • Video meeting attendees are more attentive and engaged than attendees who phone in.

Your goal is to make video conferencing feel as second nature as the phone, so let"s delve into five key strategies for mainstreaming video conferencing into your company culture.

Introduce Video Conferencing To Your Team

The first thing you need to do is introduce video conferencing to your team.

But don"t just hand them over the software and bolt.

You need to implement a smooth rollout that drives home the importance of using video conferencing on a daily basis.

Consider these ideas when introducing video conferencing in the workplace:

  • Send out a series of emails explaining the company"s transition to video conferencing.

  • Hold a software orientation meeting to make sure your employees have a firm grasp on the software.

  • Emphasize a shift away from phone meetings to video conferences.

  • Set an example. Make sure you and your management team are consistently using video conferencing to set the standard for the rest of  your team.

  • Make it fun! Implement weekly "coffee catch up" meetings by video.

Employees naturally resist change, so it"s your job to ease your team into this new communication habit.

Teach Best Video Conferencing Practices To Your Employees

Now that you"ve introduced video meetings to your team, they"ll need to know a few best practices for getting it right.

Having a set of standards for video conferencing will help get your team on the same page, and most importantly, teach them how to conduct meetings professionally.

Take note of these current best video conferencing practices:

  • Look professional: Treat a video conference like you would any other in-person meeting. Avoid wearing busy patterns and opt for a simple solid-colored sweater or collared shirt.

  • Have decent lighting: Ask your team members to hold meetings with natural light (but not too bright). Try to avoid bright, fluorescent lights as well. Employees may find it easy to drape thin linen over windows to diffuse any bright sunlight.

  • Proper posture: Ask your team to keep their computer screens at eye level and look directly at the screen. Maintain eye contact, and avoid looking down or up into the camera.

  • Have working audio: This is an important one. An entire meeting can be eaten up due to audio problems alone. Make sure your team checks their audio prior to the meeting.

  • Speak clearly: Do several trial runs with your team first to make sure they are comfortable speaking during video conferences.

You may want to include these best practices in your company handbook, new employee manual, and company emails too.

Incorporate Video Into Your Hiring Process

Since you want to make video conferencing a part of your company culture, what better way to start than with the hiring process?

This is a fantastic way to drive home the importance of video conferencing from the get-go. Moreover, it also reduces the time and costs associated with initial in-person interviews.

This means you don"t have to waste time on interview no-shows or wasteful paper handbooks and forms. Instead, you can handle the first, second, or even third phase of the hiring process remotely and send paperwork via email.

It"s also easier for the interviewee since they don"t have to catch the bus, train, or find expensive parking.

Likewise, your human resources department can also conduct exit interviews remotely through video conferencing as well.

Use Intuitive Conferencing Tools In The Workplace

You want a smooth rollout, but you don"t want your employees feeling lost on how to operate their software.

Remember that some employees may be more tech savvy than others, so it"s important to integrate software that"s intuitive and comfortable. Even the most solid orientation will fall flat if your software isn"t a right fit for your team.

Check out these top video conferencing platforms to find the right match for your company culture:

You want to get this step right. To make sure you"re choosing the right tools for your team, consult with your IT team to find a good fit.

Use Video Conferencing To Promote Company Team building

You learned earlier that employees are reticent to change, but throwing a little fun into the mix can lighten the mood and help your team be more receptive to the rollout.

So what are some great ways to get the party started?

  • Throw a remote party! Send a couple mass emails out to the staff with a date and time. Give everyone a chance to introduce themselves and describe what they do. This is a great icebreaker activity for new employees too.

  • Encourage managers to organize weekly team building video conferences, focusing on a different theme. Hold a game night for example.

  • Use video conferencing software to conduct employee performance reviews.

  • Hold special team building parties for your remote employees to help them feel a part of the company culture.

With more companies going remote, you don"t want to miss out on the benefits of video conferencing.

Cut time and communication barriers by integrating video meetings into the very fabric of your company culture.

Remember that planning makes perfect, and you want to ensure a smooth rollout from beginning to end. Discuss your options with an expert today to integrate video conferencing as soon as possible.


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