When to Use Video Communication

The benefits of video conferencing – better communication, more productive meetings and higher engagement – may be apparent. But video communication isn’t just for conferencing. Out of all the collaboration tools out there, video communication is the closest communication medium to a face-to-face interaction. In the following article, we’ve assembled some the basic tips and tactics that remote workers can use to know when they need to press the video call button and turn a regular audio call into something a little more.

Save Video Communication for Complex Topics

While some remote working specialists advocate keeping your video camera on throughout the day, that may be too much for those easily distracted, and others may not enjoy the feeling that someone is watching them. As for businesses, they just may not have the bandwidth to host a number of video streams. No matter the reason, treat video for those messages that need lots of back-and-forth interaction and topics that need the subtlety that only body language can convey. That doesn’t mean leave video only for special occasions. Just realize that for simpler messages, there are better tools out there, and video communication isn’t always the best medium for the message.

Also realize that although video can communicate body language well, it’s also a good tool for transmitting ideas through pictures. Many businesses use video as a type of whiteboard transmitter for those who prefer visual learning.

Know Your Video Etiquette

Luckily, video conferencing is rarely in HD so you don’t have to worry about your pores and blackheads showing up in your feed. But you still need to worry about how you look on video. For best practices, think of how news organizations video shoot their talking heads. Those on video should look at least comb their hair. They shouldn’t be moving around much, and they should be paying attention to what’s going on.

Be aware that people are also listening to a live audio feed of what’s going on in your space. That means you shouldn’t be playing any music in the background, and keep other residents of the house (mostly dogs and kids) quiet and away from the video feed. While this may not always be possible, it’s good to at least try and seclude yourself in a different room. While exceptions can be made depending on the situation, you shouldn’t use remote working as a replacement for babysitting.

Finally, don’t ever go into a video call without at least knowing how to work a program. Familiarize yourself beforehand with the way your program works so you won’t be the one person trying to communicate to others after you’ve accidentally pressed the mute button.

[tweetthis hashtag=”videoconferencing”]When’s the best time to use video? #UComs [/tweetthis]

Plan Social Interaction Time

Video communication is great for discussing complex messages, even if that’s just a joke or water cooler chat. Those in remote working positions won’t be able to take part in the social experience of the home office. Video can help to overcome that problem. A best practice is creating a time for the social aspects of working, which can be done through video communication. However, don’t let the need for social interactions stop other people from getting stuff done. A best practice is to set specific times to share social interactions so you can get to know some of your coworkers through video without sacrificing productivity. It’s a simple way to use video to create stronger team cohesion and overcome some of the social gaps of remote working.

Video communication is a collaboration tactic that businesses of all sizes are continuing to pick up. Being able to use the tool effectively, however, is an entirely different matter. By knowing some of video’s best practices, you’ll make remote working a much more pleasurable experience while gaining all the benefits of increased productivity.

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