Video conferencing has catapulted to the forefront of remote working. With the Covid pandemic causing more people than ever before to work from home, Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams and other video calling platforms have been helping companies all over the world to connect with employees, no matter where they are.
However, there are some businesses out there who weren’t prepared to jump on the video conferencing bandwagon. In a bid to provide a quick solution, this particular type of tech was implemented as cost-effectively as possible, leaving the situation open to numerous teething problems.
As such, these companies have had to rethink their strategies in order to iron out some of the issues with video conferencing tech that has been hastily implemented. So we have put together some helpful hints and tips for effective video conferencing in the workplace, enabling you to keep your employees virtually connected.
Video conferencing tools have a number of different capabilities and functionalities available that’ll help everyone to stay in the loop, no matter where they are in the world. When used to its full potential, these particular tools will enable you to connect with your employees almost as if they were in the same conference room.
But it’s important to understand that your workers may need some time to get to grips with the new technology available to them. Training or retraining employees to use the new video conferencing tools available will help to solve some of the initial problems that could come about as a result.
If your team needs extra guidance, then your vendor should be able to provide you with that, together with any other help and advice should particular issues arise that you need to iron out. This should also be an ongoing service with certain providers, so you can solve problems as and when they come about, allowing for even more efficient video conferencing.
Everyone has grown accustomed to in-person meetings, so the office background noise was something we learnt to simply drown out. However, this is very difficult to do when video calling from our various locations. Noise interference can come in several different forms, including:
But you can teach your employees to set the video conferencing tool so that it picks up less background noise and also prevents it from echoing. Muting the call is the most simple, yet effective way of getting rid of unwanted sounds. If you need to speak, then simply press the ‘unmute’ button. Putting headphones in can also help when it comes to limiting background noise and stopping your audio from echoing.
You could also ask employees to video conference from quiet rooms and politely ask that they turn off notifications on laptops, computers and phones to reduce the amount of noise that could potentially be heard.
Video conferencing systems are accessible through a number of different devices, including smart phones, laptops, computers and tablets, so use everything you have at your disposal to implement these systems as effectively as possible. Softphone applications, screen sharing capabilities, file transfers and even chat messaging will help to keep your workers connected online.
The vendors who provide those aforementioned things will always endeavour to improve video conferencing software and advance and develop the functionalities of those applications and pieces of software to make it as easy and simple as possible for employees to use and benefit from.
Screen sharing will also provide the user with the ability to edit documents collaboratively, almost as if they were in the same room. Not only will screen sharing help with team projects, but team messaging tools are also great for:
If the software or systems you’re using are always offering updates, allowing extra capabilities and functionalities to be taken advantage of, then ensure your staff are up to date with any tech training that might be available. It’s important that everyone can use the programme to the same level for it to be a worthwhile tool for all.
With the majority of the British workforce working from home nowadays, it’s easy for dress codes to go out of the window. Many of those who are working remotely may find themselves tucked up in bed for most of the day instead of being sat upright at a dedicated desk or work space. Although it’s tempting to spend most of that time at home in your pyjamas, it’s paramount that professionalism is seen throughout, even when video calling.
Video conferences with clients should also be at the height of professionalism, ensuring that you’re presentable, yet casual. Instead of putting something smart on top and keeping your pyjama bottoms on, slip on a pair of jeans or some comfortable suit trousers. This will ensure that, in the event that you have to get up to retrieve something out of the blue, then you can rest assured that your bottom half will be just as presentable as your top half.
Dress code isn’t the only thing that should be encouraged when working from home. There are many other factors involved in everyday working life that would have been enforced if we were still working in the office, and the importance of these should be emphasised again, regardless of whether we’re working remotely or not. Some of those things include:
The more video calling becomes the norm, the easier it will be to implement and so the smoother it will flow into your new, everyday working life at home, as opposed to being in the office 24/7. In that case, it would also be worthwhile teaching employees about video conferencing etiquette, especially if you don’t want them to be the subject of YouTube’s next viral video.
Now that working from home is pretty much the new normal right now, many of those who work remotely have reported feeling particularly lonely, with many missing the office chatter and water cooler conversations. Workers who are new to working from home often feel particularly isolated, a feeling made even worse by the fact that social interactions are still very much limited at this time.
Therefore, it’s important that you check in with your workers, perhaps on a weekly basis, just to check in and see if everyone is alright. This will also help your employees to either form strong bonds or solidify the bonds they have even further. Doing this will help to improve a number of things, including:
Even the most camera-shy employees will feel happier after having a conversation with their peers. It will also help them to get used to being on camera and seeing others on the screen as well, so future meetings won’t shouldn’t be an issue for anyone after a few weeks of giving this a try.
As an experienced Copywriter, Lorna enjoys creating varied content for an abundance of different industries and sectors. From detailed, informative articles to creative infographics, she's always looking to inject originality into the work she produces. When she isn't working, Lorna runs her own lifestyle blog, plays the guitar and loves to take part in charity runs.