Related Article: Four Ways To Make Meetings Work From Anywhere
Customers are currently having an increased desire to work from home... but are they ready for the pitfalls and are they correctly equipped? Here are four ways you can make virtual meetings as effective as those that happen in-person:
1. Ensure focused discussions through high-quality audio
Whether your employees are working from a noisy open office, a busy café or at home in a room full of children or pets, there’s a constant stream of distractions that inhibits meeting participants from fully focusing on a virtual meeting. You can’t lean in closer to the person speaking to hear them better, and frantically turning up the volume might make the voices of participants louder, but it won’t block out your background noise.
Invest in headsets with Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) technology to block out background noise, so employees can stay focused and immerse themselves in a meeting. Good quality headsets will also ensure that the users’ voices can be heard with perfect clarity, making sure their contributions come across loud and clear to other participants (without the background noise).
2. Make online meetings interactive
Create online meeting environments that promote collaboration and sharing by allowing all participants to share and review documents, screens and work on ideas as a team in real-time. There’s no more waiting for emails to arrive to start getting work done and no doubt as to which version of a document should be edited. Meetings that can be set up quickly and empower such collaboration via video also means that ideas can be worked on whenever creativity is sparked.
And that means faster decision making, as teams can review, discuss and consider multiple aspects at the same time, resulting in more interactive and productive virtual meetings. Forrester substantiates this, finding that teams using video conferencing to collaborate will not only share information faster, but also reduce time-to-market for product or service rollouts.
3. Provide tech that integrates effortlessly
Don’t make technology compatibility an issue when your workers are looking to communicate with customers, partners or anyone outside of the business. Not everyone will be using the same video conferencing set up, so make sure your chosen platform integrates with the full range of unified communications and collaboration technologies.
Best-of-breed conference phones will incorporate multiple audio and video applications, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Amazon Chime and more, all through the same slick touch interface. And premium video conferencing bars and headsets are also emulating this approach, with native apps built-in for one-touch access to calls.
4. Don’t forget image quality
As much as 80% of communication consists of non-verbal and visual cues, such as body language and facial expressions, so don’t compromise on video quality in virtual meetings.
A low-quality camera will make images appear grainy to other attendees and they will look particularly bad on larger screens. Don’t compromise on video quality — make sure remote workers, huddle rooms and small office spaces are equipped with business-class, cameras and remove the reliance on low-quality laptop versions. For camera set up in an office huddle room, look for camera features like automatic speaker tracking, which focuses on whoever is speaking, so attendees joining remotely feel like they are in the same room.
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