Unless you’ve been living under a rock (wouldn’t blame you with everything going on), you’ve probably noticed that video calls have exploded in popularity. From school lessons to yoga sessions, every Tom, Dick and Harry has christened their webcam. So much so that we now have people coming down with video call fatigue, exhausted by the idea of having to look at themselves day in day out. Whilst there is an argument for having a break from your webcam, this post will look at the reasons why you should turn your webcam on at work.
We’ve said it before any we’ll say it again. One significant advantage of a webcam is increased engagement. With other forms of communication, where face-to-face interaction is missing, it’s easy to pretend you’re listening when in fact you’re daydreaming intently at a blank wall.
Turning on your webcam at work means that it’s much harder to feign interest, with the occasional ah-ha. Facial ques and affirmations let other people know that you’re engaged, such as head nodding, smiling, frowning and an array of other expressions the human face can make. A cheeky stat to back up our claim, 55% of businesses say video conferencing effectively increased employee engagements.
Why do we have meetings? The ideal outcome and one that signifies a productive meeting is being able to collaborate effectively. A big ol’ benefit of using a webcam at work is better collaboration. This ties in with the engagement factor, a more engaged group of people are more likely to collaborate effectively.
A good example would be a virtual brainstorming session. If you can only hear but not see the other people in the meeting, then it can turn into a train wreck real quick. Think people shouting over one another, no visual cues to let them know if it’s a good or bad idea and awfully awkward silences. Whereas all having your webcam on encourages active participation. You’re able to gauge the room and collaboration becomes much freer, just like what you’d get in a real life, face-to-face meeting.
Remote working has many benefits but that doesn’t mean it’s without drawbacks. One drawback that is reported by many remote workers is feelings of isolation. Turning on your webcam at work is a brilliant way for remote workers to feel more involved and help combat any feelings of isolation.
As a remote worker, you’re no longer simply sending and email or instant message with no real human connection. You can now associate a face with the person you’ve been messaging and begin to feel much more part of a team, compared to someone who feels isolated amongst their colleagues.
It’s not just remote workers who will encounter benefits of a webcam but anyone who works flexibly or finds themselves working away from the office from a prolonged period of time, i.e. the majority of us currently. Turning on your webcam at work is a simple way to boost morale amongst your team. It’s important that you don’t only turn your webcam on for work meetings but also meetings where work talk is forbidden.
Again, being able to see the faces of other people, even if it’s virtually will help establish a human connection, something we’re all desperately need right now!