With a considerable proportion of the global workforce now working remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic, businesses around the world have had to quickly embrace digital tools as a direct replacement for face-to-face interactions, such as instant messengers, task management software, and video meeting apps. With remote working set to be the norm for many office workers in the foreseeable future, investing in video chat software is essential for businesses to keep their teams connected and on the same page. So, how can you ensure you choose the best tool for your team?
For employees in various industries, meetings are an integral part of office life – and it’s perfectly normal for our weeks to be filled with the likes of 1-2-1 performance reviews, quick catch-ups with our immediate teams, and larger group sessions for brainstorming, planning and reviewing the status of the various projects and campaigns we’re working on. For this reason, all kinds of companies can benefit from using video conferencing tools, whether you’re a large organization whose employees span multiple offices around the world or a smaller company whose staff are working from home for the first time.
Although you may have initially implemented remote working as a temporary measure to keep your workforce safe during the pandemic, it’s unlikely that every business will go back to having their employees in the office 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. In fact, a recent survey found that 98% of people would like to have the opportunity to work remotely for the rest of their careers. Another study conducted by the Institute of Directors (IoD) discovered that 74% of businesses surveyed plan on maintaining the increase in home working.
With remote and dispersed teams likely to continue to be the norm beyond 2020, here are just some of the benefits of using video meeting apps for businesses – and why you should invest in a high-quality professional video chat tool if you haven’t done so already…
Benefits of using video meeting software
They keep your team connected
Although working from home brings many benefits, one thing you do lose when you swap your office chair for your sofa is the casual chats you typically have with your co-workers throughout the day in the office, whether you’re grabbing a quick coffee in the kitchen or eating together during your lunch break. Not only can this lack of interaction increase feelings of loneliness for workers that live alone, but research has identified that having strong connections with colleagues can actually help employees to stay engaged at work – and therefore more motivated and productive.
Using video chat software to facilitate daily catch-up sessions can be a great way for everyone on your team to provide updates on what they’re working on, ask questions about anything they’re confused about, or even chat about the things that help them feel connected and develop lasting friendships – such as the great series they started watching on Netflix the night before. Regular one-on-one video meetings between workers and their team leaders are also vital for checking how everyone is feeling during this strange time. It also gives employees an opportunity to flag any worries they may have without fear of judgment and misunderstandings.
They increase productivity and efficiency
Email and instant messaging apps are great for asking quick questions. However, without the visual and verbal cues you pick up from face-to-face discussions, confusion can quickly arise from typed conversions. Additionally, we can all relate to the feeling of important information being lost in long email chains or forgetting to CC someone into an email they should have seen. This leads to simple and easily avoidable mistakes being made, which can cost your organization time and money.
Scheduling daily video conferences with your team (preferably in the morning when everyone is still planning their daily focus) will ensure that everyone is clear on what work needs to be delivered and when, and you can even share your screen to provide additional context to your conversations if necessary. Some professional video chat tools (such as Ayoa) also combine this feature with the ability to quickly take notes and create tasks within the same app. This ensures that any actions discussed in the call won’t be forgotten immediately after you’ve hung up and before you have had a chance to write them down.
You can reach a wider talent pool
Although the pandemic saw a big increase in the number of employees quickly setting up home offices and ditching the daily commute into the office, remote working has long been favored by many businesses. As well as improving workers’ job satisfaction and work-life balance, it can also enable companies to employ talented and skilled individuals from all over the world; those that they may have never discovered if they had limited themselves to only hiring people that live in close proximity to their physical office. In fact, home working was already a growing trend in 2018, with it being reported that 1.5 million individuals in the UK alone were already working remotely.
Another benefit of widening your hiring net is that you can target a more diverse customer base. By having distributed support teams that can speak different languages and communicate with people from different countries at the most optimal times, you can establish your brand in many places across the globe. Fortunately, video meeting apps can make the process of hiring remote staff easier by providing the closest thing to a face-to-face job interview. By being able to see and hear your candidate, you can get a proper feel for them and get a better reading of their attitude and personality to determine if they would be a good fit for your company. Once hired, video chat software can also help these employees to communicate with the rest of your team and seamlessly collaborate with them on work – and most importantly of all, feel as though they are a part of the team.
What is the best video conferencing app?
Now that you know the benefits of using video meeting software for your business, how can you ensure that you choose the right one for you and your team? Though factors such as the size of your team and how often you hold meetings will impact your decision in terms of how much you want to pay and what additional features you need, our advice would be to look for software that offers more than just video calling. With it being likely that many employees will continue to work remotely in the immediate future, try to choose a video meeting app that can help you with other aspects of working remotely, such as brainstorming ideas and managing project deadlines.
Ayoa is one example of an app that offers an all-in-one remote working solution by combining mind mapping, task management, instant messaging, and video calling features (thanks to its built-in Ayoa video tool and slick Zoom integration), so you can manage every aspect of your work in one piece of software that can be accessed at any time, from anywhere – and from any device.
As well as being able to brainstorm creative ideas on shared mind maps and whiteboards with your team, you can easily put these ideas into action by turning them into tasks with start dates, due dates, reminders, assignees, notes, checklists, and more, and manage them in dedicated task boards – and you can do all of this while you hold a video call in the same app. This means that you can organize your meeting, invite attendees, host it, take notes, and plan future actions without the need for app-switching.
With the workplace of the future likely to be a virtual one, make sure that you’re prepared for this change by investing in a video meeting app that does more than just enable your staff to simply host video meetings; invest in software that truly keeps them connected by giving them the tools they need to work together in harmony – no matter where they’re located.
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