It took a pandemic to make video conferencing the default platform for meetings that can’t occur in person. Of course, it’s not a new technology. We’ve had the capability for quite a while. It’s been common for years now to have conference rooms equipped with video cameras. Some companies have even installed video phones in individual offices. Still, the idea never seemed to take off.
The problem with Polycom
Instead, meeting attendees gathered around conference phones like they were warming themselves by a campfire. Those poor souls working remotely and calling in were generally ignored until the last few moments of the meeting — when someone would remember to ask if they had anything to add before signing off.
Cultural benefits of video conferencing
Of the many changes companies were forced to make almost overnight due to Covid, video conferencing is one we hope will stick. Whether remote work becomes the new normal or employees come back to the office in droves, it offers multiple cultural benefits — not just while employees are working remotely but also when they’re working in offices spread across the country or the world.
Remember that old experiment where they asked subjects to deliver an electrical shock to someone in the next room? They were much more likely to be willing to shock someone who’s face they couldn’t see.
The value of human connections
Video conferencing builds human connections and makes employees feel like they know each other, in a way a phone conversation just can’t do. People find it easier to collaborate with people they know, and tend to be more willing to cooperate and reach agreements as well. (For more on supporting collaboration between remote employees, try this post.)
Meeting over video also makes everyone visible and establishes a level playing field. Employees working in remote corners of the world can play just as large a role in video discussions as can those gathered together in the home office.
Video conferencing is a humanizing technology. And that, in our opinion, is the best sort of technology for internal communications and corporate culture.
Interested in humanizing your internal communications? Tribe can help.