How Video Conferencing Is Helping the World Unite During Difficult Times
Your newsfeed is full of frightening headlines. People are stuck at home or stranded afar. Even those who live within the same city are being forced to practice self-distancing for the greater good.
While we must distance ourselves from one another to protect public health, make no mistake: even though we’re physically separated, COVID-19 is very much a shared experience. In these trying times, we are united through tech. Thankfully, we can still connect face-to-face through video.
Facing a New Reality with Help from Video
Video has become the hero of the modern workforce. It’s a saving grace as we practice social distancing. It’s connecting people all over the globe—and it’s finally getting the recognition it deserves.
Amazingly, video conferencing has been available for nearly 20 years. It became widespread around 2004 once the technology became more affordable. But, until recently, online meetings were something an unfortunate number of workplaces took for granted. For some, meeting virtually seemed somehow inferior to meeting with others in-person, a “last resort” only to be used in extraordinary circumstances.
Well, we are now living in extraordinary circumstances—and we will continue to live in uncertainty for the next few weeks or months. Suddenly minor annoyances of video calls like lag and poor audio (which don’t happen with professional video software) seem silly. There’s so much more at stake.
Why Is Video So Important During Self-Isolation?
We all need to do our part to self-isolate to slow the spread of the coronavirus. But imagine if you were told to remain home and not see another human face for weeks on end. This would be tough even for the introverts among us!
Emailing and texting aren’t enough. We can’t rely solely on the written word to communicate. Heck, we can’t even depend on the spoken voice. Tone only says so much.
As social beings, we must see one another! That makes video a near necessity.
Don’t underestimate face time. During a one-minute face-to-face interaction, we can exchange up to 10,000 non-verbal cues. When we see coworkers with our own two eyes (including online), it reminds us that we’re part of a bigger team, working together toward a common goal.
Seeing other faces is hardwired into our biological makeup. This is why it’s so challenging to physically distance ourselves. So, make a point to turn on your camera during meetings. Doing so is a pro tip to succeed as a remote worker, helping employees stay accountable, focused, and engaged.
In the absence of seeing others in-person, we can rely on video to see the full picture. It’s honestly the next best thing to being together in-person.
Humanizing Technology and Caring for Coworkers
Just because we aren’t physically in the same location doesn’t mean we can’t connect and collaborate with teammates. Remote workers can maintain visibility with colleagues by scheduling regular check-ins and planning virtual coffee breaks and happy hours.
Collectively, we are experiencing the same thing. So, talk with your teammates about work (obviously), but also try to get to know coworkers on a personal level. We can all empathize with each other, and it’s important to demonstrate support during a difficult time where there are still many unknowns. In doing this, we can create stronger bonds and build more sustainable relationships with the rest of the team—maybe in ways we wouldn’t otherwise have.
Set up regular video calls to connect with coworkers. Congratulate someone on a job well done. Create a recurring online town hall meeting where all staff hear company updates and land a plan to stay productive in our new reality.
Stay Home. Save Lives.
Video conferencing allows many people to work from home while helping remote workers stay visible and connected with their team. And, although many people are losing their jobs because of the pandemic, some industries are switching to a remote workforce model. Other industries (health care, grocery stores, delivery services, etc.) are trying to navigate a sudden mass hiring effort to keep up with demand for essential goods.
Video is helping employers, recruiters, and hiring teams navigate strange circumstances. After all, even when things get back to normal, there remains a real risk something like this could happen again. All companies need to be prepared with company-wide policies on working from home—and the right technology to support their remote employees.
Thankfully, HR software like VidCruiter makes virtual interviewing and remote collaboration easier than ever.
A Shared Human Experience, United by Video
The circumstances around the coronavirus are testing our emotional bandwidth, but we’re banding together online to get to the other side of this. We’re more thankful for technology than ever before because it’s connecting us in ways that would not otherwise be possible.
This is the reality we’re living in. So, ask others how they’re coping or if they need anything to help them be more productive or happy at home. Show leadership and kindness—because empathic employers are desirable employers. Long after the coronavirus is gone, people will remember the managers, coworkers and companies that cared.
Until then, we’re in this together.