The way we work is changing. This was not only born out of a pandemic, but it’s one born out of necessity. Companies are hiring skilled workers from thousands of miles away because it is more practical and economical. Do you know that you can hire a graphic designer from India with half the talent fee of someone from your own state?
The onset of modern technology paved the way for this kind of remote work setup. But when the pandemic happened last year, remote work went into full blast. No longer is this a trend that startups and tech companies are experimenting with. Remote working and work-from-home setups became the saving grace of many organizations.
And yet, even though people exalt the benefits of remote work, it comes with its own disadvantages. One of the most painful realizations among many companies is that remote work is not sustainable. At least, not in the long run. When it comes down to it, not meeting your co-workers face to face has a huge impact on the productivity of workers; hence, the overall success of the company.
Without the face-to-face meetings and chit-chats during lunch breaks, there is no office culture to speak of. What kind of rapport can you build when you’re merely talking via Slack?
Video Conferencing as the Answer
Thankfully, technology has the answer. With video conferencing such as Microsoft Teams’ call feature, it will feel like you are in the office anyway. But do you know many virtual workers don’t use video calls at all? It is easy to forget about your need to connect with your team when you are at home. There are so many things happening at the same time. Your kids are running around and asking you to play with them. The dishes are piling up in the sink. You also have to make the meals while you complete a report.
It is in the interest of the manager or supervisor to make sure there is a regular video-call meeting at least thrice a week. A scheduled meeting is a must. The video call can be on Mondays to start the week right. The team can talk about what they have to accomplish that week. There should be another call in the middle of the week to assess where they are at that time. For example, do they have to re-align some of the goals that week? At the end of the week, on Friday, another call should be made to check if you’ve all done what you decided on at the start of the week.
Building Teamwork and Rapport
While simple video calls are effective, adding video will make the meeting more meaningful for employees. Not only are they going to see each other’s faces, but they can also share files and other documents. This builds teamwork and rapport. Telling a joke through messages doesn’t sound and feel the same as telling it through video calls. Workers will want to have those light moments with their acquaintances. Body language and facial expression also raise the quality of the interaction.
Employees have to feel that they are a part of a team. This is what’s lacking in the current remote-work setup. When everyone feels like they are in the loop, they will be more productive. They will work for the better of the company.
Establishing and Maintaining Office Culture
Office culture is something everyone misses when there is no office to speak of. It is literally established when people get together in one room to sound off ideas and throw jokes around. And yet, it is hard to maintain such an office culture when people are working from home. How was your office before the pandemic? Was it formal or casual? Do employees feel safe and comfortable enough to spend time with each other even after work hours? These are the things people miss when they are not working together physically.
But thanks to video conferencing, it becomes possible to reinforce feelings of camaraderie. This is important when you are trying to retain employees. Do you know that this is one of the reasons why employees stay with a company?
Nothing can replace face-to-face interactions. Humans are born to become social beings. They thrive in these relationships they build by talking, sharing, and spending time with each other. But what is the next best thing to personal interactions? Video conferencing. Right now, with the way things are going regarding the pandemic, that’s all companies and employees have.