The business world may forever be defined as pre-pandemic and post-pandemic - with very little transition time in between. The star of the show has been video collaboration, without which organizations would never have been able to achieve and maintain at least some form of business continuity.
With the onset of COVID, the rapid, almost instantaneous shift from in-office to virtual work has put video technology – and indeed the workplace dynamic - to the test.
Video communication in the everyday workplace has almost seamlessly stepped in and replaced face-to-face interaction during the height of the pandemic - and it will continue to play a huge part moving forward. Even when the pandemic further subsides, a large majority of workplaces will continue to operate as hybrid.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways that video technology has most affected the way we work – and how it’s expected to define the new and more efficient hybrid workplace.
Businesses were quick to learn that workers could actually become more productive working remotely. By saving exhausting hours commuting at both ends of the day, workers could achieve far more on their own schedules.
Thanks to rapidly evolving video technology on communication and collaboration platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Webex by Cisco, meetings could go ahead as planned, and nobody needed to ever be late. The physical office will probably never disappear completely, but video has enabled the hybrid model to thrive, and workers will most likely continue to work from a home office at least two or three days a week.
The shift to remote working changed priorities regarding visual and audio quality. Even though workers no longer had to ‘dress for the office’ to hold a meeting, it soon became evident that poor camera angles, bad lighting, inadequate sound, and unreliable connectivity were a problem.
These issues prompted employers to invest in upgrades for home workers, and video vendors have seized the trend by producing greatly improved equipment. Higher-quality webcams and headsets have helped smooth the rough edges of video presentation, and investments in increased bandwidth have helped with choppy network quality. Technology improvements are expected to continue as the hybrid work dynamic becomes more established.
The advent of live video editing
After many months of seeing themselves appear in generic, two-dimensional video boxes, workers began to demand something more dynamic and interactive. The development of new streaming software has made live video editing possible. In effect, this software enables post-production effects during a live video call.
With live video editing software, users can add graphics, transitions, subtitles, and other effects like green screens. In Microsoft Teams, for example, ‘together mode’ uses AI segmentation technology to digitally place meeting participants in a shared background. This creates the feeling of sitting in the same room with everyone else in the meeting.
Integration and productivity tools
There are many non-technical ways employers can improve the productivity of their meetings, both in-person and virtually, like setting clear objectives and having an agenda.
One area where video meeting solutions shine is in the integrations with productivity tools to help their users do more in less time. For example, features like transcription, translation, video clipping, whiteboarding, file sharing, and integrations with productivity apps can help users quickly and efficiently share knowledge, brainstorm, and action the ideas produced in video meetings.
Gamification in video meetings
Remote working does lack certain human elements that are present in a physical workplace dynamic, like social contact, motivational programs and employee engagement strategies.
Gamification incorporates game design elements like activities, badges, points, and rewards systems into a non-game context. More and more businesses are incorporating gamification into their video meetings and webinars to help improve morale, boost employee engagement, and encourage productivity.
Why video is essential for the success of the hybrid workplace
Studies show that 93% of communication comes from non-verbal cues, meaning that only 7% of what we mean is actually expressed through words.
With the absence of in-person interaction, video enables us to communicate with and understand clients and colleagues, providing continuity and improving connections.
Video needs to be user-friendly
In the hybrid workplace, one of the biggest challenges is getting employees to fully embrace video. To make this happen, video meeting solutions need to be effortless to use from start to finish. These solutions need to:
- Allow users to start and join video calls easily
- Support large or small meeting types
- Integrate calendars to easily schedule, view and join meetings
- Allow participants to join without requiring downloads or credentials
- Allow screen sharing with options for participants to annotate
Performance management is vital in a hybrid workplace
The above requirements are basic and non-negotiable to achieve user satisfaction and a great workplace flow. To keep the hybrid working environment running seamlessly, organizations need to implement the right performance management solutions.
In today’s complex, multi-vendor communications ecosystem you need to avoid performance issues in real time, right across your on-premises, cloud or hybrid environments. It only takes one or two visual, audio or operational hiccups to derail a meeting, and even one unhappy user is one too many.