Remote Video Collaboration: How to Keep Business Going (When You Can't Get to Meetings)
Sometimes, incidents happen that mean we need to stay home from work. Whether that be a pandemic, a strike, or a natural disaster – these events could make it seem like working is an impossibility. As technology develops further, we may find ourselves choosing to work remotely more – it’s certainly millennials’ main expectation.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s easy to collaborate remotely during these times, thanks to the digitally connected world we live in, and to procedures like video conferencing solutions.
What is remote video collaboration?
Remote collaboration is when teams work together as they would in the office, but without physically being together. In this instance, they will use apps and software to communicate, as well as hardware like laptops, tablets and interactive displays. Remote video collaboration is one of the biggest struggles when managing remote teams, but when done correctly, it can only benefit your business.
Of course, a lot of work can be done independently – any solo work that can be done independently in an office can also be done remotely. However, when you need to actually talk to your employees and colleagues, video conferencing for remote teams is certainly possible, and a great alternative to in-house meetings.
What is remote video conferencing?
Remote video conferencing is the act of using tools, like laptops, tablets and interactive displays, to enact meetings just like real life.
It’s a form of video collaboration that means that whenever you can’t get to your office, it’s still easy to work remotely. Having a device and using some of the best collaboration apps is a great way to get lots of work done even when needing to be in different offices, and remote video conferencing makes this even easier!
How to set up your video conferencing technology
Your video conferencing technology will include some of the best remote apps for video collaboration, which are tailor-made to capacitate it. These kinds of apps could include Microsoft Teams or Zoom.
Next, you need to make sure that all of your employees devices have functional devices, like a laptop or tablet, with the correct software downloaded.
You should also think about investing in an interactive display; these devices can be used as conference room technology, where they can be easily installed in an office huddle room, or elsewhere in the workspace.
There are huge benefits to interactive displays which can really help out offices, especially ones working remotely. They bear many similarities to iPads and tablets, meaning that people will already know how to use them. They don’t need an external computer – they are essentially their own device, like a big tablet, on the wall.
The image quality is good, and they can be written or drawn on, as well as used as a browser. They are without a doubt the best advice for multiple people to view and enjoy.
Once this is set up, the meeting can go ahead as planned!
Pros of remote conferencing
There are actually many pros of remote video collaboration, so if you are forced to do this, don’t panic – you could be at an advantage.
- Remote conferencing means you don’t have to come to the office when it is not safe to do so.
- Remote working, and conferencing, is better for the environment (as fewer people will travel to go to work) and can help your business save money (as you won’t need to spend as much money on bills and employees may be prepared to take pay cuts if they don’t need to spend money on transport).
- Remote conferencing also saves a lot of time, as you won’t be waiting for people to turn up, and travel to and from the meeting will be eliminated.
- With video collaboration, you can physically see people and their body language meaning you can see how engaged your meeting delegates really are.
Cons of video conferencing
There are, of course, some cons of video conferencing – however, these can be easily addressed. They include:
- WiFi issues could come into play.
- Remote conferences could feel a bit forced and awkward at first.
Let’s work out some ways to make video conferencing possible when working remotely.
Not physically seeing people
The issue of not physically seeing people when working remotely lends itself to the question, ‘how do you collaborate with a remote colleague?’. Indeed, not being able to physically see your employees can hinder remote meetings, as you can’t get the full scope of their body language.
One of the best ways is to make sure that everyone has a talking point – something that they want to discuss and to ensure that you spend some time focusing on everyone’s talking point.
Don’t have too many employees in your remote meetings, because one faulty connection can affect the whole call. Five is ideal.
How can I stay connected when working remotely?
It’s vital to make sure that any employee working remotely has a good wifi connection, especially for remote meetings. Other ways to ensure that you stay connected is to have the best apps for collaboration and to make sure all hardware is set up efficiently.
How can I make my conference call more engaging?
Conference calls can sometimes feel a bit wooden and forced, without the naturality of in-person conferences.
Calls can be made more engaging by taking time to ask employees questions about themselves, cracking jokes, and making sure that everyone gets a chance to talk. Creating a positive workplace culture is just as important when the team is working remotely!
Giving people tasks within the meetings can make them more engaging; enlisting someone to work as a timekeeper or scribe will help them stay focused.
Be sure to have a structure to the call, and also make sure that you’re asking questions and keeping everyone talking. The meeting could go something like this:
- Greeting and introduction
- Opening questions to get everyone talking
- Main body of discussion
- Asking everyone else what they want to talk about one by one
- Final questions and thoughts
This kind of call will help everyone stay focused and present within the call.
As the conference call instigator, make sure that you know what you’re dealing with – so practice with the software, be sure you know all the functions and maybe even have a test run beforehand. This will help your remote meeting go flawlessly!
Quickly transitioning to remote work can be a bit challenging, but with the right knowledge and preparation, meetings can go seamlessly, and can even be enjoyable!
There are plenty of ways to make virtual teams and remote working video collaboration a success; using remote apps can help you collaborate on projects that need more than one brain, and software and hardware for remote meetings can help you have successful virtual conferences.
It can seem difficult and overwhelming at first, but it’s easy to adapt to working remotely, and there are plenty of ways that this type of work can be a complete success.