The percentage of participants that enable camera feeds during video meetings correlates with levels of professional recognition, interpersonal engagement, nuanced communication, and, ultimately, productivity. Meeting organizers who promote video use should select platforms and tools that make video conferences more accessible, exciting, and intuitive for participants. With the right approach, video-based virtual meetings can enrich the work lives of remote staff and members of distributed teams.
Why Is It Important To Keep Your Video On?
By observing facial expressions and body language on video calls, coworkers and collaborators can pick up on more subtleties of meaning. Many contextual cues are lost over audio calls or text-based modes of communication such as chat, messages, and email.
For many decades, the camera and network technology needed for video conferencing were not widely available. Over 83% of the world population and 85% of Americans own smartphones means internet-connected cameras are more universally available than ever before.
After several years of widespread remote work, many people have become disenchanted with virtual gatherings. It is clear that this mode of connectivity is more expressive and valuable than less robust modes and that the benefits of this approach to communication far outweigh the drawbacks. Meeting organizers can also take a few methods to keep video calls fresh.
A psychological concept called the Hawthorne effect involves observing a type of reactivity in which individuals modify one or more aspects of their behavior in response to an observation by others. In other words, when you turn on the camera, you are more likely to be productive than you would be with the camera off. This concept is supported by an AVI-SPL survey in which 94% of businesses reported that video conferences increase productivity.
The ability to explain situations and contexts in natural language and real-time without the ambiguities of context characteristic of audio or text communication can also support increased productivity. Team members can ask questions and get answers in a more organic and flowing format that is possible with other modes of live communication or responses to messages without any delay.
Many meeting organizers also find that video meetings can cover more ground in less time. As all attendees are privy to the call, these calls may reduce the number of shared concerns that get repeatedly addressed on a one-by-one basis. A Zoom Virtual Office background enables users to present themselves professionally in office space branded with a custom uploaded logo, whether you are meeting with internal stakeholders or external clients or customers.
Virtual Team Engagement
Statistics bear out the productivity of remote workers and video calls and possibilities for promoting engagement through cameras in meetings. The vast majority of users, ranging up to 89% of respondents to some studies, report that video calls increase feelings of connection. The reasons for this connection are apparent, as humans are social beings who benefit from being able to see each other’s faces and hear each other’s voices.
Organizations with the technological infrastructure to do video calls should try to do so, mainly if many staff work remotely. While the novelty of video meetings may wear off over weeks, months, and years of remote work, a significant percentage of the workforce has embraced this technology’s flexibility.
Meeting organizers should set clear standards for participation in video conferences and other virtual meetings. A Lifesize survey found that 63% of individuals responded that they missed seeing the faces of colleagues who could not join calls. Encouraging users to turn on their cameras during meetings can make participants more connected, engaged, and productive.
Combating Zoom Fatigue
Some preliminary research suggests that camera overuse, or video conferences scheduled too frequently or dragged on too long, can result in unnecessary fatigue. While keeping cameras on for an entire workday can prove taxing with little rewards beyond the Hawthorne effect, there are more benefits than shortcomings to keeping video feeds turned on during conferences. Meeting organizers can experiment with more intuitive and exciting ways of conducting virtual meetings, such as custom Immersive View backgrounds and slides.
Employers should communicate expectations for camera use during video conferences to employees. Managers can also encourage employees to use partial measures, such as muting their mic when not speaking, to provide some relief during scheduled video conferences that are limited to a set time.
Limiting the amount of time beyond meetings that employees must work on live video feed or at least poll staff regarding their preferences may make sense. The benefits of setting up a custom virtual office space or shared Immersive View scene and encouraging participants to enable video during meetings outweigh the drawbacks.