Video Conferencing Is Here To Stay
In the past, when colleagues who were not in the same location had to communicate, they usually phoned or sent emails. Now, video conferencing tools have made things much more manageable and allow coworkers to communicate efficiently while bridging the geographical gap. Also, organizations can hire top talent from anywhere in the world without having to deal with cutbacks in communication or productivity. Remote work is typically accompanied by online communities where employees can interact with one another and build stronger professional and personal relationships. Therefore, the remote business model can flourish and be as successful as the traditional office function. And as long as businesses see their performance increase, online communication tools will be a mainstay in corporate settings.
The Benefits Of Video Conferencing In The Workplace
Flexibility And Higher Engagement
In traditional office settings, employees often spend a significant amount of time getting to and leaving work and have to follow a specified schedule. However, with remote functions, team members have the autonomy to carve out their preferred schedules and balance their professional and personal responsibilities. As a result, organizations typically see higher engagement and satisfaction rates. Employees also feel empowered knowing that they control their daily schedule and can communicate with their colleagues whenever they need to by just pressing a few keys.
Improved Wellness And Mental Health
Some might argue that nothing can replace face-to-face interactions. While this may be true in some cases, requiring employees to go to office meetings multiple times a week can cause them additional stress. Using video conferencing for team meetings gives employees the chance to sleep more and eat a balanced breakfast before work. As a result, employees are more relaxed during virtual meetings, and their overall mental health is improved. They also don’t have to worry about the morning commute, which can be nightmarish in many cities and countries. Additionally, remote workers can take small breaks whenever they feel the need to.
Increased Collaboration And Team Work
While working from home might keep us away from distractions in the office, it can also create feelings of isolation and loneliness. Video conferencing is a powerful tool that brings people together, regardless of their location. It allows them to solve work-related matters in minutes and organize team-building events that promote stronger relationships. The key is creating communication guidelines that encourage employees to collaborate without causing burnout. For example, setting specific office hours in which team members can message each other or schedule meetings.
Inclusivity And Accessibility
In traditional office functions, those with disabilities may encounter accessibility problems. Telecommunications can solve these issues since they don’t require employees’ physical presence, and everyone can participate in meetings from their preferred location. Individuals with communication disabilities can enjoy features like real-time subtitles and sign language interpretation. Organizations can also provide screen readers or voice recognition software to employees with visual impairments.
The Negative Impacts Of Video Conferencing
Video conferencing doesn’t come without potential drawbacks, and both employees and companies should be aware of those. For starters, looking at the screen for many hours daily can cause eye strain, fatigue, and other health problems. Also, sitting in a chair for at least eight hours a day may worsen posture and cause musculoskeletal discomfort. Therefore, employees’ physical health may be negatively affected. Aside from physiological effects, video calls can also create misunderstandings due to cultural differences and varying communication styles. For example, someone might use a gesture that is considered an insult in a colleague’s culture. Additionally, organizers should pay attention to the time zones of participants and ensure everyone is comfortable with the scheduling time. Lastly, language may sometimes be a barrier since not everyone has the same level of fluency.
Solutions To Possible Problems
To reduce eye strain, professionals need to be at least 18 inches away from their screens, and if necessary, they can increase the font size. They may also take frequent breaks and implement the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes spent looking at the screen, they must look at something that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Additionally, employees can start wearing glasses specially designed to block blue light, which may cause headaches and sleep disruption. If bad posture is a significant issue, poor ergonomics, like uncomfortable chairs and a lack of leg rest, might be contributing to the problem. Lastly, organizations should consider diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training to ensure employees understand cultural norms and practice empathy when interacting with coworkers.
Remote work is undoubtedly the future of corporate functions, and video conferencing is a powerful tool. It can increase efficiency, productivity, and overall happiness levels. Still, companies should be aware of the hurdles their staff may encounter. They must offer team members the support they require to navigate through the difficulties and strengthen team dynamics successfully. Arranging online meetings may take a lot more organizing, but eventually, it can have a multitude of positive effects on employee morale.