Many of us have been working from home (wfh) since March 2020. Others have been in an out of the office, based on government-issued shutdowns and stay-at-home orders. As we’ve all become accustomed to working out of a home office, bosses and employees alike have realized it’s much more doable than we ever thought possible. In fact, it was predicted that the percentage of people making wfh a permanent solution would double this year. We’re willing to bet that video has impacted your experience. Let’s look at how video has made working from home not just a possibility, but a reality.
Video Conferencing Platforms
As we recognized wfh benefits like no commute, more sleep, and flexibility of work hours, we also had to learn how to collaborate remotely . Enter, video conferencing platforms. While most of us used video conferencing occasionally, it was more of a fallback for those odd times when we were dealing with international teams or needed to meet on short notice. Who among us could have predicted virtual meetings would become an everyday occurrence?
If offices didn’t already have a system in place, workplaces had to quickly assess which video conferencing software best fit their needs so they could hit the ground running. We also had to learn some virtual meeting etiquette since this was a new way of interacting. Whether you’re using Zoom Meetings, Microsoft Teams, or some other platform, we’ve all had to adjust to the features and quirks of video conferencing. Do you have a favourite? Is there one you dread? There’s a question we all hear now when meeting with clients: your platform or mine?
Video and the Human Connection
The human touch is something we all want to have in our business dealings, putting everyone at ease. The human touch is also what is quite literally missing in a text or email. With so many of us working from home, how can we still feel connected? Video is the answer. When we can’t sit at the same table, video is the next best thing because it conveys tone, emotion, and nonverbal body language. Video has the ability to create feelings of emotion and engagement. Speaking with someone you can see is much more personal than hearing a disconnected voice on the phone or receiving an impersonal email.
The office is the place where we get work done, yes, but it’s also part of our social life. When employees work from home, they miss out on the camaraderie of the office. We’re no longer going to lunch together or gathering around the water cooler to talk about the weekend. However, there are still some ways we can use video to come together virtually and keep the co-worker bond alive.
It’s no longer unusual to celebrate a promotion, holiday, or birthday online. Having your colleagues sing an off-key rendition of happy birthday has never been so appreciated! Especially when paired with a birthday treat or gift card sent to your house. It’s nice to remember that even though we’re not physically in the office together, we’re still working together and supporting each other. If the office unit is having trouble scheduling a time when they can recognize someone as a group, why not try recording a video message?
The Future of WFH
Those of us who have been able to keep working and transition to a home office during the pandemic are lucky. But when we’re able to return to the office, will you be called back? And will you look forward to reclaiming your cubicle? One survey reported that more than two-thirds of businesses plan to make a permanent move to remote work when the COVID-19 crisis ends. Others report planning for a hybrid of remote and on-site work. With studies showing that remote workers may actually be more productive, it makes sense to be flexible when both a business and its workers find wfh a good fit. Whether you stay home or go back to the office, we’re confident that video will continue to be a successful approach to getting the job done.