How To Use Video To Communicate with Teams While Working Remotely
There’s nothing worse than waking up, sipping your coffee, only to receive a “can we chat?” message from your boss or team member in your inbox or Slack.
“Uh oh…. Is something wrong?”
We’ve all been there. Just the other day, I received a similar ping from a new client. Even though I knew things were going well, I still couldn’t help but think the worst.
It turns out my client just wanted to say they published my latest piece.
*sigh of relief*
While real-time chat apps and email are great for many things, often, they aren’t able to capture the full context that in-person chats and video allow. I would have loved to open up my email and see a link to a short video that gave me an update on my piece, rather than a moment of panic followed by relief.
As the workforce continues to adjust to working remotely, learning to communicate effectively with your organization is a must.
Unlike in a traditional office environment, you don’t have the option to participate in classic “watercooler” talk, or even to pull a team member aside and share what’s on your mind.
Fortunately, using video to communicate with your team is a great way to ensure everyone is on the same page and prevent misunderstandings that may otherwise occur via email or chat.
As a marketing manager or director, it’s especially important to leverage the communication tools you have to make sure your team is in sync.
Working Remotely: Our New Reality
Even before COVID-19 accelerated the move for companies to work remotely, remote work was already growing in popularity. According to Owl Labs, “42% of employees with a remote work option planned to work remotely more often in the next five years.”
And now, with large companies such as Adobe, Google, and Facebook in the process of moving permanently to remote work, many other companies, big and small, are beginning to follow suit.
While remote work does have many advantages, such as no commute and more flexibility in schedule, it does present some unique internal communication challenges. (As an aside, remote work circumstances during COVID-19 are NOT normal remote work conditions.)
In today’s post, we’re going to take a look at how to use video and webinars effectively to communicate with your team and help keep your organization both productive and in the loop.
How Animated Videos Help You Communicate with Your Remote Team
If you’ve ever given a presentation at the office, you know how difficult it can be to keep your employees’ attention.
It’s not uncommon to see some of your team zone out within the first few minutes — and that’s when you’re sharing the room. With distractions just a click or tab away while working from home, it can be even more challenging to keep your team engaged.
Using animated videos to showcase the latest revenue numbers or important team updates provide a refreshing take on otherwise boring status reports. Animated videos can also be incredibly useful for onboarding new employees and helping them learn the ropes.
In a traditional work environment, you might have new employees shadow a more senior coworker to get a sense of how the company runs. But when working remotely, that’s not always possible. Additionally, sharing a dense Google doc filled with your team’s procedures may be a good start, but it isn’t the most engaging way to share important information.
Creating an animated video about your company values and expectations is a great way to introduce your company to a new hire. It teaches necessary information with a little added flare. Instead of having your new employees default to learning through Google, you can produce an attention-grabbing walkthrough to get them up to speed.
Animated video is especially helpful when breaking down otherwise technical topics such as how to use internal tools or software.
Another benefit of an animation video tool is it can save time in having to recreate templates from scratch. Once you’ve developed an onboarding video for new employees, for example, you can easily replicate or make minor changes depending on the specific situation without the need to start all over each time.
Finally, a short animated video can also be a great way to share company news when, for example, your company wins an award or is featured in a major press publication.
While animated videos can communicate a lot of valuable information, there are certainly times when they may not be the most appropriate platform for internal communication.
For example, if you need to have a serious performance related discussion with one of your team members, it wouldn’t be the best idea to convey that using animation. In that case, a traditional video or phone call would be best.
[Need some great templates to get you started with your animated videos? Check out our popular remote working and onboarding video templates.]
Webinars Are for More than Presentations
Webinars are another effective way to communicate with your team. While it’s common to automatically jump on a Zoom or Google Hangouts call, webinars offer a few unique benefits.
Many video call platforms have relatively small attendee limits, which can be an issue for larger companies (unless you have the resources to upgrade to premium plans).
Webinars allow you to speak to everyone on your team simultaneously without the added distraction of employees accidentally unmuting themselves and creating background noise.
Webinars are also helpful in that most webinar tools today include a tracking attendance feature. With other platforms like Zoom, for example, you may not know if a team member made the meeting or not.
Tools such as Demio are great because they allow your team to effortlessly join without needing to install any additional software, which can save significant time and tech headaches for everyone.
Another benefit of using webinars for team communications is that it alleviates some of the pressure your members may feel.
On a traditional video call, team members often feel they need to be “presentable” and prepared to jump in with both video and audio. Given home life is anything but normal for many of your employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, this can create unnecessary pressure and anxiety. With a webinar, your employees can stay focused on the message at hand without worrying about how they look or if their home office is a mess.
Additionally, while team members can watch webinars live, you can also share with those who may have missed the original presentation. Some video call options allow calls to be recorded, but it’s not always set to default, so if you forget to hit record, it can be quite frustrating.
Though webinar platforms are traditionally focused on generating sales, new customers, and leads, they are an incredibly underrated way to communicate with your internal team.
Webinar tools like Demio also provide the standard video call features that have become an essential part of daily communications. With Demio, you can share your screen, invite guests to speak with or without video, and more.
Asynch Video Communication Will Help Your Remote Team Communicate
Perhaps one of the most significant shifts when working remotely is the move to asynchronous communication. “Simply put, asynchronous communication is when you send a message without expecting an immediate response,” says Amir Salihefendic, founder of remote-first company Doist.
When you use video to communicate with your team, there’s no expectation of an immediate response. To make things even clearer, let the person know you don’t need a quick reply in your video.
For example, if you share an update video with your team, you can start the video off with a simple message that sets expectations: “Hey team, wanted to share a quick update on our KPI’s for the quarter. Please respond with your thoughts no later than Thursday.”
Video communication by default helps alleviate the stress and necessity to respond immediately, which is especially helpful if your team spans across multiple time zones. That said, you can certainly use video when a response is needed ASAP.
Ultimately, “the purpose of asynchronous communication is to help your team communicate clearly without placing unnecessary burdens around the communication,” says Joe Martin, VP of Marketing at CloudApp.
And while asynchronous is common when working remotely, it doesn’t mean you have to ignore synchronous communication completely. Sometimes, a rapid response or immediate call or chat is necessary. With animated videos and webinars, you increase the options available for your team to communicate most effectively.
If you’re looking for a few fantastic asynchronous tools to experiment with, be sure to check out CloudApp, Loom, Snagit, and Recordit.
The Benefits of Video
To sum up, there are multiple benefits to video communication with your remote teams. In this piece, we covered how video can:
- Increase productivity
- Increase team morale
- Keep team members engaged
- Make information easy to understand
- Alleviate pressure to be presentable for meetings
- Provide flexibility in communication
As companies around the world continue to adjust to this new way of working, leveraging video to communicate with your team can go a long way towards ensuring everyone remains productive, up to date, and feels like a valued part of your organization.
Are you ready to discover the power of video? Try Wideo and create your own videos today.