With companies bringing their entire teams and operations online, collaboration is becoming an increasing issue. There are more misunderstandings in the virtual setting, after all.
What’s more, your team also needs to deal with lost information, low morale, mental health issues, etc. Thankfully, using a fully-featured video conferencing software can address a good bit of your collaboration challenges.
With a reliable video conferencing tool, you can streamline your collaboration process better, nurture a lighter virtual work environment, improve your productivity, and even prevent needless firefighting.
Below are several ways you can leverage a video conferencing software to collaborate better with your team.
1. Establish a Flexible Virtual Workplace
Even before the pandemic, the number of people working remotely was rising steadily. In fact, more than 50% of businesspeople around the globe are already working remotely at least 2.5 days a week.
A post-pandemic workplace will look distinctly different from the typical office set-up. Many companies are considering making their workforce permanently online, or at least a hybrid form.
If you have not considered establishing a virtual workplace, then it is time you should. Understandably, some of the biggest concerns are productivity, collaboration, and accountability.
However, a virtual workplace provides key benefits that outweigh these issues. Here are a few:
- Cut travel costs and expenses in facilities and infrastructure.
- Accommodate employees, partners, and customers located across the country or around the world.
- Increase employee satisfaction and productivity due to better work-life balance.
- Connect with the entire workforce even if they work outside normal working schedules.
- Significantly reduce your employees’ and company’s overall carbon footprint.
These are just some of the advantages that you will notice during the first few months of creating a virtual workplace.
(Image source: zoho.com)
So, how do you ensure that your team maintains and improves their productivity?
Increased communication remains one of the key elements of a successful organization. At the heart of every virtual team are their communication tools.
While there are countless apps from email to chat platforms, video conferencing remains an unbeatable option when it comes to providing complete transparency.
When you have team members working remotely, constant communication becomes a crucial part of your daily operation.
Keeping tabs with your members ensures that they are productive. Similarly, solving issues as they arise is easier when you have consistent updates from your employees.
A video call is the most efficient way to communicate with anyone. The ability to see each other’s body language and facial cues help maintain honesty and clear communication.
It is also important to view one another during conversations and meetings if you deal with complex tasks and projects. It prevents miscommunication that may lead to missed deadlines and decreased productivity.
Modern video conferencing solutions are so easy to use. That means employees can launch video calls in just a few clicks without any assistance from your IT team.
Project members can collaborate on the fly without leaving the comfort of their homes. It also increases their mobility without sacrificing their productivity.
For example, employees have the option to work at home, in a cafe, in a shared space, or in any place that helps them accomplish their daily tasks.
Video conferencing provides flexibility without having to spend a fortune on infrastructure. When done right, virtual teams become more productive than office-based teams.
Some companies see up to a 43% increase in employee productivity due to the benefits mentioned above.
2. Offer Multiple Communication Channels
One of the reasons why you need to improve your team’s collaboration today is to stay ahead of competition and take advantage of various opportunities to outperform your competitors.
Whether you have purely virtual teams or a hybrid office set-up, making sure that your team members are able to connect to each other is important.
And, you do not have to rely on text-only and audio-only communication channels. Video conferencing comes in a variety of forms.
That means organizations from the smallest enterprises to global corporations have the opportunity to maintain communication among teams and their members even outside of the office.
Typically, video conferencing solutions fall into the following types of endpoints:
- Desktop and mobile applications – These are some of the most popular video conferencing methods as it leverages consumer devices. It is perfect for teams who value mobility and flexibility while collaborating. These apps use web cameras and microphones to create real-time connections.
- Executive video collaboration devices and systems – The category includes enterprise-level desktop systems, ISDN-based devices, and IP-based video phones. They are all-in-one units with built-in monitors and cameras. These devices are usually found in offices to connect employees with their teammates from other locations.
(Image source: zoom.us)
- Boardroom collaboration systems – These systems aim to establish group-to-group or group-to-individual connections through high-quality video and audio facilities. They are often used in boardrooms, auditoriums, and meeting rooms. High-definitions cameras, speakers, and microphones are installed in strategic areas around the room.
- Telepresence – It provides the closest experience to face-to-face interactions through an immersive experience. These set-ups include large monitors with high-quality video feeds along with high-definition cameras, microphones, and speakers. It mimics actual face-to-face conversations, albeit with devices acting as substitutes for a person’s presence.
These types of video conferencing solutions ensure that everyone in the company is able to connect regardless of the complexity and security requirements of the interaction.
Enterprise-level solutions come with advanced features such as multi-display capabilities, privacy measures, and other functionalities to ensure productive collaboration.
Fortunately, PC-based solutions are getting better, which means companies are able to provide cost-effective visual communication solutions to most, if not all, of their employees.
3. Expand the Reach of Sales and Marketing Teams
Sales and marketing are two business activities requiring constant collaboration to launch and implement successful campaigns.
Additionally, sales and marketing project management need daily updates, meetings, and catch-ups to ensure that all team members are productive.
Now that consumers are more likely to shop online, sales and marketing departments are facing greater and more complex challenges.
Marketers need to generate more leads in a shorter time, reach targeted audiences, and significantly reduce costs per lead.
They also need to collaborate with business partners, fellow marketers, and other employees to make sure that their activities align with the rest of the organization.
Similarly, sales experts need to meet and interact with clients on a regular basis. They should also keep costs down, especially when it comes to traveling.
Salespeople must maintain a close relationship with their customers such as leveraging a content marketing funnel, to drive upselling and cross-selling opportunities.
They also collaborate with the company’s marketing team and business managers to efficiently qualify leads and boost conversions.
Video conferencing is an excellent tool for marketers and salespeople to reach leads and customers regardless of their location.
(Image source: google.com)
The flexibility and mobility also increase their productivity by meeting more clients. Without the travel time, they spend more hours on productive tasks.
Video calls ensure that they maximize their skills, especially when qualifying and nurturing leads. The visual communication maintains their genuine connection with the customers and even deepens the relationship.
Creating a personalized experience for clients is also a breeze as the experience is much more interactive than other remote methods.
Furthermore, working together is much more efficient. Because these tools are easy to use, members are more likely to collaborate and share tips and experiences with one another.
Talking with each other over video calls is much quicker than answering emails and chats. And, it is more transparent and personal than audio-only conversations.
4. Help Human Resources Connect With More Employees
Human resources teams are typically understaffed. After all, they serve the entire organization while handling recruitment, training, and other employee-related matters.
Additionally, they have fewer resources, which means they are faced with the challenge of doing more with less on a daily basis.
And yet, the issues and difficulties that they face are continuously increasing. Furthermore, they now have to deal with remote and mobile teams, which introduces new complexities in their work.
Through video conferencing, rolling out new information such as procedures, policies, and guidelines are easier. Message delivery is also clear, which prevents miscommunication.
Similarly, training employees on new tools or business processes are efficient when conducted over video calls.
Fortunately, these tools include features such as screen sharing, presentations, and other functionalities that make the experience more meaningful and interactive.
The ability to reach employees wherever they are strengthens the relationship between the members and the company.
(Image source: skype.com)
Even with remote teams, HR experts do not need to give up the value of visual communication.
Town Hall meetings and similar events are easy to manage using video conferencing platforms. Global teams are able to connect with one another as often as they need.
Moreover, the entire recruitment process is streamlined as applicants do not need to visit the office for interviews and other hiring activities.
Recruitment staff has a better chance of scheduling online interviews as these are conducted online. That means the company can hire the best talents around the world without the extra costs of arranging the employee’s accommodation and other needs.
Furthermore, setting up interviews with multiple managers and future colleagues is uncomplicated for the applicants. This way, the team has a better way of determining whether they fit the company culture.
Once hired, the HR department can deliver the entire onboarding and training process remotely while making sure that the new employee is up to speed.
5. Improve Corporate Research Through Online Collaboration
As the organization rapidly grows, corporate research becomes a necessity in order to reduce costs while maximizing profit.
That is why corporate research teams experience intense pressure, especially if the company wants to be the leader in their industry.
Team members collaborate with each other, study participants, laboratories, and researchers on a daily basis. They often experience delays as well as spend a lot of money due to travel costs.
With video conferencing software, the entire research process is conducted without leaving their cubicles or their homes. It is easy to work with various stakeholders, even when they are located around the world.
Better Planning Process
Fully-featured solutions allow presentations while on a video call. This functionality is valuable, especially during the planning stage.
Because the presenter sees the faces of the participants, he/she knows how they are receiving and reacting to the information. Questions are easily addressed during the meeting, and any issues are immediately resolved.
Recording the entire planning meeting and presentation also helps members who are not present to catch up. It is also a great proof of productivity, especially if the company conducts reviews.
(Image source: join.me)
Efficient Data Collection
Data collection is the most time-consuming part of corporate research. It eats up the largest chunk in the budget as well.
Traditionally, location significantly limits the number and variety of respondents of the study. Participants need to visit the office, or field research staff have to travel to different areas.
Video conferencing redefines the entire data collection phase. Researchers are able to initiate and moderate meetings, round tables, focus group sessions, and similar activities without traveling.
They also have the opportunity to include more participants, as no time is wasted traveling. This makes the data set richer, which is advantageous.
The availability of these apps ensures that the research team has access to participants from different demographics.
Additionally, multiple team members work closely together, resulting in faster and more efficient data collection.
One-on-one sessions over video calls are easy to initiate, especially during crucial moments in the research process.
Furthermore, most platforms allow the recording of video conference sessions. These videos are important to ensure that the team is always compliant with specific standards and regulations.
Share Research Updates and Results
Managers, shareholders, review boards, and other bodies require constant updates and reports. Throughout the project, the research team must maintain transparency, especially when dealing with company properties and assets.
Using modern tools, the team will simply have to send a link to relevant stakeholders and invite them to meetings and presentations.
There is no need to deal with complicated schedules anymore. Video conferencing eliminates hurdles when it comes to collaborating with people from different departments and branches.
Visual communication establishes and maintains trust among the researchers and their supervisors. Questions are addressed immediately as well as concerns and clarifications.
Additionally, video conferencing software’s flexibility allows teams to meet and resolve urgent tasks and other time-sensitive activities.
Collaboration is often complicated, especially in modern workplaces, where many employees are working remotely.
However, video conferencing applications ensure that your team is working together, whether they are in the office or at home.
It is as good as face-to-face interaction without the extra costs. In just a few clicks, team members can start discussions, meetings, and presentations, just like a traditional office.
More than collaboration, video conferencing tools provide new ways of working together. This opens your team to new possibilities to boost your productivity while minimizing the time and money spent on tasks and projects.