How Video Conferencing Helps Develop Remote Team Cohesion
Hayley Cannon, May 4, 2023
Video technology’s role in the workplace is growing, with 58% of companies using video conferencing in their daily operations. This alternative to in-person meetings not only makes remote work possible but also helps it thrive. Here’s how video conferencing helps develop remote team cohesion and how to make the most of your video communication tools.
- Video conferencing offers many benefits for remote teams, including improved collaboration, trust-building, boosted morale and effective decision-making.
- To leverage video conferencing to its potential, companies should encourage participation, focus on remote team building and define expectations for on-camera etiquette.
- Features that enable remote team cohesion include screen sharing, recording capabilities, virtual backgrounds and interactive features like live chat.
- Anticipating video conferencing challenges can help you provide faster resolution and maintain productivity.
Key Benefits of Video Conferencing for Remote Teams
Video conferencing adds the element of face-to-face, real-time communication to remote work. Without it, teams would rely on playing phone tag and sending emails, both of which can kill productivity and delay real progress. Video conferencing for remote teams offers a range of benefits, including:
Improved Communication and Collaboration
Video conferencing allows teams to share information at scale. Rather than calling individual teammates or trying to put important details in an email, a team leader can address the entire team at once. It allows for two-way communication so teams can ask questions and gain clarity in the moment. Leaders have the benefit of seeing the team’s reactions and body language in the meeting so they can ensure their message is understood.
Users can also record their video meetings so that attendees can refer back to them later. If a team member misses the meeting, they can easily catch up and stay in the loop.
Building Trust Through Face-To-Face Interaction
A person’s body language can be very telling about how they feel toward a person or situation. That’s why seeing a person is such an essential part of building trust. You can see whether they’re engaged in what you’re saying, how they’re feeling and whether they understand you. Studies show that 93% of communication is non-verbal. Even the tiniest facial expressions or gestures can reveal hidden messages.
You can build a natural rapport with others simply by communicating face-to-face. It feels more genuine and authentic than an email or a phone call. Video conferencing provides the next best thing to in-person communication by adding the visual element.
Devices like Neat take face-to-face virtual collaboration to the next level with crystal-clear image and sound quality that’s more akin to talking in person. Whether a person is standing, sitting or walking about the room, the camera stays focused on them while tuning out the background. It also squashes extraneous sounds so that participants can clearly hear the speaker, even if other people are talking over them.
Boosting Team Morale and Motivation
Face-to-face communication lets other people know you see and hear them. They can tell by your eye contact and body language that you understand them and are receptive to them, which can give them a confidence boost. When team members feel confident, they’re more likely to share their ideas and contribute to conversations, both of which can lead to better outcomes.
Enabling Effective Decision-Making and Problem-Solving
Adding the visual element to virtual meetings shows you who’s engaged in the meeting. There’s a little added pressure for team members to contribute when they know they’re being watched. With everyone on board, the team can work together to share information, solve problems and make decisions that will lead to results.
Best Practices for Leveraging Video Conferencing for Remote Team Cohesion
Does video conferencing help remote teams? Only if you know how to extract its value. Here are some best practices to get you started.
Establish a Consistent Meeting Schedule
Sticking to a meeting schedule helps get everyone on the same page. Team members can plan the rest of their days around standing meetings and know how much time they have to prepare for the next one.
Encourage Active Participation and Open Communication
Meetings are only effective when everyone involved engages in them. Video conferencing can help spot confusion or a lack of agreement, both of which can stifle progress. Being seen encourages everyone to put their best foot forward and actively participate in the conversation.
Implement Engaging Team Building Activities
Remote work can be isolating, leading to a lack of connection with colleagues. Virtual team-building activities can help team members to connect with each other, build rapport and develop a sense of camaraderie.
Effective communication is key to the success of any team. Team building activities can help remote team members to better understand each other’s communication styles, preferences and tendencies, which can lead to more productive and efficient communication.
Define Expectations for Video Conference Etiquette and Behavior
Video conferencing is fresh territory for some employees. Establishing guardrails for etiquette can help everyone feel confident in front of the camera and make meetings more productive. For example, you might share your expectations for starting virtual meetings on time, dressing appropriately, muting yourself when not speaking, avoiding multitasking and respecting other people’s time.
Discover more best practices in our recent blog post, 20 Video Conferencing Best Practices for Remote Teams.
Features of Video Conferencing Tools that Enhance Remote Team Cohesion
The right video conferencing features can help you extract the full value of virtual collaborations. Let’s look at a few features that improve communications.
Simple Screen Sharing and Collaborative Editing
Visual aids keep participants engaged. At a minimum, you should be able to share content from your own screen and enable the same from other participants. If you have Neat Board, you can connect it to your video app with a USB cable. Whiteboard tools allow the whole team to create and edit your meeting notes.
Recording Capabilities for Reviewing Past Meetings
Recording your meetings gives you something to refer back to in case questions arise. These recordings are also helpful when sharing information with other stakeholders who weren’t present at the meeting.
Customizable Virtual Backgrounds and Fun Filters
Virtual backgrounds can make remote participants feel more confident in doing a camera-on meeting. Whether they’re embarrassed by a messy office or are sharing a space with other people, the background blurs out distractions and focuses on the participant.
Many video conferencing platforms (think Zoom or Microsoft Teams) offer a variety of background options. Our Neat devices also include background features to minimize distractions. Neat Boundary can be configured to limit the camera’s field of view to specific dimensions. If other people enter the room, it will automatically tune them out.
Integrated Live Chat, Emojis and Reactions
Some features naturally encourage engagement, such as live chat. Team members can add their comments to the chat during meetings, type questions to avoid interrupting the speaker and add a little flair and personality with emojis.
Addressing Common Challenges in Video Conferencing for Remote Team Cohesion
No technology is without its challenges, video conferencing included. Anticipating challenges lets you plan ahead on how to handle them should they arise. Let’s review some common challenges and what to do next.
Resolving Technical Issues and Improving Internet Connectivity
From internet connectivity issues to webcam or sound quality, remote teams need to quickly resolve any technology issues so the meeting can keep going. Share your own best practices with your team on how to resolve issues when they arise. For instance, a lag in video or sound could be the result of a slow internet connection. Users can do a free internet speed test to see if their download or upload times are ideal for video calls.
Or, you could explore purpose-made video conferencing devices like Neat. Neat cameras offer crystal-clear image quality that helps users see facial expressions that would otherwise be lost on other cameras. The microphone is designed to clearly capture the speaker, even if there are other noises in the background. It also cancels echo so participants can clearly hear what’s being said and spend less time troubleshooting audio issues.
Accommodating Time Zone Differences and Scheduling Conflicts
Remote team members might not all work in the same city or even the same country. Knowing which time zones your teams are working in can help you improve meeting scheduling.
Encouraging Engagement and Inclusivity for All Team Members
Some participants may not feel inclined to engage in meetings. They may be shy to speak up or hesitant to turn on cameras. This is where having a positive remote work culture proves valuable. When you create a safe and inclusive space, everyone can feel welcome and willing to share.
Managing Conflicts and Resolving Disagreements During Video Conferences
Just like during in-person meetings, team members may disagree over ideas or approaches. Meeting leaders must be able to manage conflict and resolve disagreements in a remote setting. This can be challenging to do when people are talking at the same time, as sounds can be muffled or distorted to the point where no one can be understood.
Taking breaks, asking questions and giving time for all parties to share their side can help to mitigate conflict. Adding the video element can also help to ease tensions. Tones and meanings can be misconstrued in texts or emails, so being able to see and hear the other person speak can lead to a better understanding.
Creating Remote Team Cohesion with Neat
Does video conferencing remote teams? The answer is an easy yes, but only if you know how to extract its value. At Neat, we’re the experts on video conferencing for maximum benefit. We’ve designed our experiences to mimic in-person interaction with clear audio and video that capture every word and every expression. Discover how to create remote team cohesion with a better video conferencing experience —check out Neat devices today.
How can I ensure that all team members are comfortable using video conferencing tools?
Providing training for video conferencing tools prior to a meeting is a great way to get team members comfortable with their technology. Take advantage of the tools’ pre-made resources, such as Neat’s User Guides. Platforms like Zoom or Microsoft Teams also have tutorials, blogs and other resources to help answer questions and build familiarity.
What are some examples of team-building activities that can be done through video conferencing?
Virtual team building can take many forms, including icebreaker quizzes, online scavenger hunts, Bingo, Two Truths and a Lie and other popular games converted into digital formats. The idea is to choose an activity that gets everyone involved and helps team members learn about each other.
How often should team meetings be scheduled?
Meeting frequency is unique to every team. It’s a good idea to host regular meetings to ease planning on your team members. But keep in mind that too many meetings can be overwhelming. It’s wise to be selective about the number of meetings you have and how long they last.
What are some best practices for managing conflicts that may arise during video conferences?
Always have a meeting moderator who can dissolve conflict and keep the meeting on track. The moderator can interject when team members are talking over each other or have conflicting ideas to ensure both sides get time to share. It’s also helpful to set ground rules about respecting other team members and speaking kindly to each other.
How can I encourage participation from team members who are more introverted or shy during video conferences?
Remote team participation starts with creating an environment where everyone feels supported and valued. Set ground rules for remote meetings. Talk about the purpose of the meeting and the role and value of each participant. Ask questions and get everyone comfortable with sharing their thoughts. Keep it light and positive so that participation becomes a natural byproduct.
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How To Understand Your Coworkers’ Nonverbal Communication. The Balance.