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Effective Video Conferencing for Remote Teams

Video conferencing solutions are a flagship technology for many AV brands - they're fueling the global economy, after all. With video conferencing in place, organizations have access to a world of professionals and can skim the best talent no matter where it is. However, there are challenges involved with maintaining remote teams. Here's we'll address a few of those challenges and how video conferencing can help overcome them.

Three Obstacles Remote Employees Face That Video Conferencing Tools Can Solve

There's no denying that remote work fits better for some people. Without in-office distractions and a frustrating commute, it's easier to get more done. At least that's what some of the statistics say. According to a 2022 Cisco survey, 82 percent of remote professionals said that work flexibility had made them happier. Clearly, remote workers want remote work to stay. But it's not all roses for remote teams. There are a few problems for organizations to solve when managing remote teams - and video conferencing can help solve them. Here are a few examples:

Remote Employees Don't Feel Connected to Their Team Members

According to an Accenture survey, remote employees feel more connected to their work than in-office employees by two to one. However, a different survey by Wakefield Research shows that managers don't feel the same about their remote employees. By a large margin, managers believed their remote employees weren't as connected to their teams. This seems like a communication breakdown. Fortunately, that's what video conferencing is designed to fix. If an organization has video conferencing in place, but there's still a disconnect with remote employees, the fix is often "more video conferencing." Instead of running long video meetings, consider breaking up those meetings into smaller touchpoints throughout the day. If the day's face-to-face communication is confined to an hour-long meeting - and we all know how meetings can be - then it's easy to see where the disconnect is coming from. Remote work is changing the way some organizations manage their meetings. Some find that they keep their remote employees better engaged if they are engaged more often. Video conferencing software makes that simple. Managers can schedule short blocks of time for each team member and communicate one-on-one or in small groups with the touch of a button.

My Remote Employees Have Trouble Tracking Project Progress

In fast-paced companies, it's all-too-common for remote employees to be left out of the loop. Who's working on what? What's the status of that report? Wait, the deadline has been moved? It happens, but there's an easy solution - recording your project progress meetings and provide them to the meeting's participants. Of course, you'll need to let all participants that you're recording the meeting, but it's likely that the team will thank you. It's easy for details to be forgotten following a meeting and having a recording to reference will save employees time in tracking those details down. Take it a step further. Once the project update meeting is over, timestamp or even edit down the video to highlight important parts. Video conferencing software, including Zoom, comes with some simple editing tools that can be used to trim a recording down. This can be used to point out project expectations to each team member individually, so everyone knows what the plan is.

My Remote Employees Are Having Difficulty Collaborating Effectively

It's one thing to communicate, and another to collaborate. Effective collaboration can feel difficult for teams that aren't in the same space, but that doesn't have to limit their teamwork. Video conferencing solutions come with collaboration tools, and if you have onsite employees leading the call, you can install additional tools to improve video team meetings. For example, Zoom and Microsoft Teams both have robust screen sharing features in place, allowing users to use their device to share a PowerPoint presentation, images, videos, drawings, graphs, figures, documents - any supporting media a presenter would need to get the collaboration going. To get the whole team involved, go with a whiteboard. There are virtual whiteboarding options available - Zoom has one built right into its app. Virtual whiteboarding features allow anyone to add to the picture, which is equal parts professional and fun. And once the whiteboarding session is over, an image of the whiteboard can be saved and sent to all participants.

What About Hybrid Teams and Offices? How Can AV Solutions Help There?

Some companies are taking a middle-of-the-road approach with their remote workers. Instead of full remote or full onsite, these hybrid offices have their own challenges. While most of those challenges are similar to those faced by remote teams, there's a consistent problem that hybrid employees face - adjusting to in-office technologies. In a hybrid office, some employees may only be onsite once a week or a couple times a month. It can be tough for these employees to get fully acclimated to the office. The problem is magnified for employees who rotate between multiple sites. Usability is a vital feature in hybrid office technology. That's why, with the rise of hybrid offices, wireless presentation solutions have become more popular. Wireless presentation solutions allow users to wirelessly connect to a conferencing room's technologies, including the conferencing system itself. This is done with an application on the user's own device. Once connected, the presenter can adjust audio, lighting and call settings with their own device. They can also share content to the room's display with their own device, so all essential meeting functions can be handled without having to mess with any hardware. That's as usable as it gets.

No Matter Where the Employees are Located, Video Conferencing Can Make Everyone Feel Like Part of the Team

Remote work has opened up opportunities for businesses that want the best talent possible. It's also opened up some difficulties, like most big changes do. However, video conferencing is well-suited to solving those difficulties with meeting and collaboration-enhancing features that help the virtual office feel a little more personal.