White-collar workers have all recently been guinea pigs in a grand work experiment—and now, the results are in. By rapidly adapting to pandemic restrictions, organizations have learned that remote work is a viable alternative to full-time office life.
Remote work is clearly not perfect. Most employees neither expect nor want to work exclusively from home, but surveys also reveal that more than 80% of workers still want to work from home at least occasionally. For organizations, the potential for cost savings is hard to ignore.
Getting the most from hybrid work
Hybrid work relies on a fundamental premise: Teams can collaborate effectively at least as well as if everyone were in person. Without achieving this standard, hybrid work is untenable.
Of course, having the technical capability for video conferencing is not enough. When used effectively, video calls bridge physical distance while retaining personal aspects of communication. But technology and its misuse can get in the way. In fact, the most common frustration of white-collar workers working remotely have been related to collaboration and how they contribute in meetings.
How can your organization get it right? Here are five tips for using video to improve hybrid work:
- Embed video in all you do. Incorporating video into your workplace culture will help break down any negative attitudes toward hybrid work. Be ready to run in-person huddles and conference room meetings with video so anyone working remotely can still contribute meaningfully. Excluding colleagues—even inadvertently—who are not in the office will reduce collaboration. And while you’re at it, why not use video for virtual happy hours, colleague coffee dates, weekly show-and-tell sessions?
- Communicate expectations and coach. Most of us are not accustomed to being on camera; video can make people feel awkward. It takes some practice, and employees require clear standards of how to appear and sound on video, and decorum for meeting interaction.
- Invest for ease-of-use and productivity. With video as a core communication technology, organizations need to carefully evaluate the platform they use. High-quality video and audio are key, but so is one-click calling for quick face-to-face conversations, and the ability to easily incorporate video into in-person meetings. If hybrid work is going to succeed, employees cannot be forced to use a substandard solution that wastes time and undermines effective collaboration.
- Extend the value of platform features. The right video tools support hybrid work with more than just video connectivity. Recording and meeting documentation simplifies the workday for everyone. Can you brand the video tool to represent your organization, or integrate it into existing company applications and workflows? Also consider external communication with partners, stakeholders or even customers. By strategically utilizing a video platform’s full suite of features, you will encourage adoption and improve ROI.
- Don’t let your guard down. As more organizations come to rely on video to share internal information, think ahead to the security implications. Enterprise-grade video platforms need to have a high level of encryption for calls and content, as well participant authentication to keep video rooms secure.
Build a better hybrid workplace
Across the world, white-collar workers and their organizations are rewriting the rules of workplace culture and productivity. Leaders will recognize the opportunity to turn some hard-earned lessons into effective strategies for better hybrid work, with video at its core.