During the health crisis and widespread remote work, the use of videoconferencing applications such as Zoom or Google Hangouts exploded. Live virtual meetings now replace “In Real Life” meetings. But it also has its limits…
Feelings of disconnection and loneliness can affect employee motivation. According to Buffer’s State of Remote Work in 2020 report, this is the biggest challenge facing employees, along with remote collaboration.
To strengthen social bonds at a time when interactions are becoming less frequent, videoconferencing is a safe bet. It allows for more humanized communication than cold emails whose tone can be subject to interpretation and often leads to misunderstandings. It also makes it possible to replace informal water cooler talk. But it must be properly used and not fall into the trap of meetings for the sake of having meetings.
⌛️ Your time is precious, save it!"
In remote work, managers schedule more meetings via videoconference as a knee jerk reaction to prevent feelings of isolation. A study by Owl Labs found that teleworkers globally attend more meetings per week (14% of respondents had even more than 10 meetings per week, compared to only 3% of on-site workers).
🤦♀️ Beware of the risks of video conference chaos
I’m sure anyone reading this article will attest to the fact that videoconferencing can easily turn into a catastrophe with technical, audio and video problems (26% more common in remote work), meetings that go off on tangents, and children getting impatient in the background.
🤯 Videoconferencing generates fatigue
While video meetings are essential for remote work, it is worth asking whether it is the best use of everyone’s time and energy. Some experts even talk about “Zoom fatigue” to characterize the psychological impact of these repeated videoconferences. In It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work, Basecamp founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson argue that meetings should be “a last resort”.
🔍 Information gets lost
Real-time discussions often involve spontaneous answers. Indeed, when you are chatting live with someone, you consume the information as you receive it. In videoconferencing, even if employees can take notes, some of the ideas and documents exchanged during the meeting will inevitably get lost in the thread of exchanges. The time spent finding the main ideas, organizing them and getting real reflection out of them is often a waste of time.
The video, yes, but in just the right dose!
As we know, video has the power to convey emotion and break the sense of isolation by putting voice and visuals back at the heart of communication. Words only represent 7% of our communication! Hence the importance of tone and body language in our exchanges.
Sending messages in video format with a solution such as Speach, allows you to avoid chaotic meetings without sacrificing the human aspect of communication. It also eliminates time zone barriers and the need to waste time organizing video conferences for employees around the world.
“Offset”, or “asynchronous” communication does not require a direct response from you. It gives you time to digest information, provide solutions and make decisions without pressure.
And for that dose of informal exchange, which is also necessary, employees can create more personal videos to share their teleworking experience and best practices on a daily basis: from tips for keeping children occupied to recipes or reading recommendations… Employees will not lack imagination!