Three methods to know when to make use of video or audio conferencing
In the past year, many companies had to rethink the way they work. For those of us who work in an office, the structure of our working life has completely changed. While there are signs of a return to normal, there are many guidelines and laws that need to be followed first. And because we have to adapt our lives so quickly, we took advantage of the advantages and innovations of remote work.
In these troubled times, keeping in touch was more important than ever to ensure the morale, coordination and efficiency of the team. While physical meeting rooms have been out of order, employees around the world have turned to remote collaboration. Deciding on the format each meeting should take can be difficult, however, as there may not always be examples of strategic communication plans that you can pick up and follow. Choosing between audio-only or video conferencing completely changes the dynamics of a meeting. Knowing which to use in a given situation is key to maximizing productivity.
With this in mind, there are three points to keep in mind when planning a remote meeting.
1. Do you need visuals?
A clear advantage of video conferencing is the ability to share images. This is as close as possible to recreating a workplace scenario from home. Visual aids have been shown to make a presentation more engaging for participants. By combining illustration and commentary, we can communicate our own ideas.
You can improve the meeting experience by using a digital workspace. This allows you to share your screen while people collaborate in real time during the session. This allows for a higher level of synchronicity, which is very helpful in various processes such as product development and crowd testing.
Remote visual collaboration doesn’t have to be difficult. The combination of a video conferencing tool and a digital workspace can practically create the feeling that everyone is in the same room. Whether you’re adding sticky notes and pictures to a virtual whiteboard, presenting slides, or sharing prototypes with your team, a video call is your best bet.
Without being able to meet clients and customers in person, video marketing tools have also proven themselves to be an essential part of growing businesses.
2. Do you have time
There are times when graphics are suitable for a quick overview – for example, when you need to explain a complex idea using a digital whiteboard. However, if you are expecting a short meeting, audio conferencing is often enough.
Regular contact is essential for so many aspects of working life from coordinating long-term projects to refining a prototype. Using video calling for all of this expense sets up prep time that could be better used elsewhere.
If it’s a regular meeting between a similar group of participants who know each other well, you can likely communicate well without body language and facial expressions.
So audio conferencing is affordable, easy, and time-saving. With the use of a virtual phone number, this can also be done from any device so that we can dial in from anywhere. As long as you know how to make conference calls on Android, iPhone, or any other available device, you are ready for anything. If you can get everyone involved and cover your agenda without visuals, you won’t have to make every call through a video.
However, the rapid transition from real to virtual life has brought many challenges with it. Ensuring the safe use of online communication tools can be daunting if you are not tech savvy.
While one brand’s user engagement strategy can be vastly different from that of another brand, it is all underpinned by effective online communication. Fortunately, with conference calls being the new normal, businesses are striving to make contact as easy and secure as possible.
Of course, audio calls or even a strong presence on social media are great ways to keep in touch. However, in most cases, the contact can be passive and not adapt to the moments when you need to express yourself and fully engage with another person. Don’t underestimate the dimensions of interaction the video can add.
3. Do you have the right equipment and environment?
There is no guarantee that everyone you need to speak to will always have the means to video conferencing. That doesn’t mean these interactions are any less important.
Nowadays we need to be able to adapt to different types of communication, be it with colleagues, clients, customers or suppliers. Technical problems, a lack of equipment, or a poor connection can make a video call out of the question. When there is a lack of good quality software or hardware anywhere down the line, it is difficult to make sure everyone is up to date.
With regular meetings, you probably know everyone’s technical situation, and we should be used to making our environment as optimal as possible. Other circumstances are less predictable and life outside of the office means we have less control. It doesn’t take long to figure out the best way to communicate with someone, and this will help ensure a positive experience.
As with any business decision, cost is an important factor when introducing conference calls. As you’d expect, this is the more expensive of the two options because of the added benefits of video conferencing. This is a decision that will require a great deal of foresight and reflection on risk management considerations for your project.
Take a look at the budget you can allocate to invest in the software and hardware your team may need to get the best experience possible. If you’re looking to save depending on your quarterly budget, an audio call is a better option. But when the time comes to get your distributed team working together, you should definitely take advantage of the many features that paid video conferencing software can offer. If you find yourself in a situation on a budget, there are also a variety of free productivity tools that you can use to complement your collaboration process in any form.
However, it cannot be denied that every business needs personal interaction between employees, customers, customers and partners. In most cases, audio calls just won’t suit your needs. Investing in a reliable all-purpose video option is a must. Even if it’s a small business video conference that is less of a burden on your budget.
Many people who went through lockdown found that productivity and efficiency increased. Many would be disappointed if the lessons we have learned through work and mutual support did not flow into the future of work. The focus was on online communication.
Think about the right platform for every moment, take advantage of teleworking and you are ready for the next phase.
Author: Richard Conn
Richard Conn is Senior Director Search Marketing at RingCentral, a global leader in unified communications and CTI software.
He is passionate about connecting businesses and customers and has experience working with Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Experian, Target, Nordstrom, Kayak, Hilton and Kia. Richard wrote … Show complete profile >