Organizations all over the world were faced with an unprecedented challenge after COVID-19 forced nearly two-thirds of employees to work remotely. Without much warning, employers had to find a way to shift their entire staff to remote work. However, many were unprepared to face this unprecedented challenge.
Since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, the usage and demand for video collaboration tools has skyrocketed. Even so, with vaccinations ramping up and a return to office on the horizon, it’s clear that hybrid work will continue well into the future. Some employees will continue working from home in order to accommodate safety recommendations, where others will return to the workplace to take advantage of in-person collaboration and advanced technology. 90% of human resources leaders surveyed by Gartner said they plan to let employees work remotely at least part of the time, even after a vaccine is widely adopted. But regardless of where you’re working, one thing is certain – the modern workplace will never be the same.
When employees start trickling back into the office, most organizations will adopt a hybrid work model. For example, your Sales team may continue working from home, but your IT department will be in office. For this setup to function properly without leaving anyone behind, it’s up to you to keep communication lines open and make sure that everyone feels included and connected.
A simple and cost-effective way to make sure your employees stay connected is with video communications. Most remote workers appreciate face time with their colleagues, and in-office employees will benefit from a streamlined communication platform. Given the new state of the hybrid workforce, you want every member of your team to feel included, regardless of location.
Plus, if someone misses a meeting, video on demand (VOD) services allow employees to catch up on important meetings or company-wide communications even after the meeting has ended. The more connected teams feel, the better they’ll be able to work together. Research firm Gigaom says 87% of remote team members feel more connected to their team when they can use video conferencing.
INCREASING COLLABORATION AND PRODUCTIVITY
Maintaining strong employee collaboration has been one of the largest workplace hurdles IT and Communications teams have had to climb during the pandemic. While convenient, communicating via email or an instant messenger can lead to miscommunications and unnecessary, time-consuming work. Instead of relying on text-heavy communications methods, utilizing a video conferencing software will allow both in-office and remote employees to quickly and clearly communicate with one another in a more collaborative way.
In addition to being a way for employees to feel connected with one another, video meetings can be much more time-efficient, since the need for back-and-forth email chains are reduced. Many video conferencing programs, like Microsoft Teams, also allow for cross-collaboration and make file sharing, discussing, reviewing and sending documents a lot more streamlined, especially for employees who are working in different locations.
MAXIMIZE TEAM BUILDING
Enabling cohesion in the COVID age has been challenging. But one of the keys to building a high-functioning team is to establish trust and build rapport among your employees, even when not everyone is working together physically. Instead of deferring to email or chat, use video communication to better humanize the way we work together. Having the ability to actually look someone in the eyes and catch up before or after a meeting can make a significant difference in a hybrid team’s ability to bond with one another.
If you’d like more insight on how video can help connect your distributed workforce, read our white paper “The Visible Boss.” We cover everything from tips for getting started to best practices from executives thrive in front of the camera.