Remote Meetings are Better Face-to-Face
Have you ever been on a conference call when people are talking over each other? It’s frustrating and confusing. Honestly, it’s hard enough to communicate with someone in-person without adding the complexities of not being able to see each other. It’s not like they can see the anticipation in my face on an audio call as I become excited to share my thoughts. When I’m in a room with someone, I can sometimes “see” a lightbulb turn on as that person begins to speak. You can’t do that on an audio call. And, that’s ok for quick, simple and explicit information being shared.
The world works better face to face. When I’m working on a detailed project with a global team or working from home, an audio call just doesn’t cut it. And with Cisco requiring remote work along with so many other companies recently, the importance of effective distributed collaboration should be a heightened focus. Teams must adopt video and where it is already adopted – make sure it’s turned on.
A Better Way to Communicate
Imagine attending a meeting at the office only to find when you arrived that everyone had a bag over their heads. You might think they were kidding, but not being able to see the expressions on their faces you couldn’t be sure. And as the meeting begins, you are completely distracted by the absurdity of the situation rather than paying attention to the meeting itself.
It sounds absurd – because it is absurd. That would never happen in real life. Yet, it’s not uncommon to attend a remote meeting where most have access to a webcam or purpose-built video hardware but have their video off. Instead, we see a list of avatars floating on the screen like paper bags covering each person’s head.
This has been overlooked in the past, but as Sandeep mentioned in his article Workplace Experiences: How Remote Work is Transforming the Workplace, by 2024 Gartner estimates that only 25% of enterprise meetings will take place in person.* And in today’s world, I see this accelerating along with the adoption of tools needed to support it. With this shift comes a responsibility for organizations to provide holistic workplace experiences.
Workplace Transformation isn’t just about the physical workspaces in a corporate office. While that’s a key component, being able to extend that experience beyond the conference room to the home office, coffee shop, or wherever in a seamless and intuitive manner is really where flexibility shines. We no longer live in a world of “work-life-balance” but one that is blended. It’s an age where what we experience in our home life is what we expect in our workplace. Things like intelligent personal assistants should cross spaces whether I’m using a voice command to turn on lights at home or schedule a conference room at the office. The experience should be similar. Likewise, as the shift to more remote working accelerates, what I experience at the corporate office is what I expect at my home office.
The Next Best Thing- Video Conferencing!
So, how do we emulate face-to-face communication when working remotely? When 93% of a message’s meaning comes from non-verbal cues, authentic interaction that supports and rivals face-to-face collaboration is not something we can afford to miss (Source: Albert Mehrabian, Silent Messages). Face-to-face communication builds trust and fosters rapport with team members. When we can’t do that in person, video provides the next best experience. That’s why Webex Rooms and the Webex platform have been designed to support individual and team styles with maximum flexibility and minimum constraints.
My personal experience is seamless regardless if I’m in the Denver office, home office, or Oslo office. Whether I’m on the Webex Board 85 or Webex Room Series 70D in the Cisco office or on my Webex Desk Pro at home, I can still whiteboard and annotate the same paired to Webex Teams. I can use People Insights and Facial Recognition to enhance my interaction and comfort with people over video. Most importantly, I can experience natural interactions in high fidelity and through the intelligent shaping and framing of audio and video.
Join me as we redefine a new way to #WorkFromHome. Remember the world works better face to face so #TurnOnVideo. Let’s continue the conversation on Twitter and show me how you #RemoteWork! Feel free to tag me @Csco_Jason along with @CiscoCollab and @Webex. I’ll likely be responding from this view:
*Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions, September 2019. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.