Even though you’re the one standing (or sitting) in the spotlight, spending quality time on camera can actually strengthen the connection between you and your whole team. While we can credit the pandemic with bringing us all together via Zoom, not many people were actually comfortable with the realities of videoconferencing.
Comfortable or not, Pew Research tells us that 65% of employees who telework all or most of the time feel disconnected from their colleagues. Channeling the 1976 song by the band Boston, this 65% represents “more than a feeling;” in fact, it results in decreased employee retention rates, which has cost U.S. based companies more than $400 billion annually.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is you can tighten the ties with your team by establishing and committing to a stronger video presence during these still-critical video conferences. After all, the pandemic might be over, but the way we work has changed for good. Video calls aren’t going anywhere, so you might as well invest the time and effort in strengthening that particular skill set for the sake of your business and, by extension, your bottom line.
Read on for more details that reveal the power of your on-screen presence…
Why does my presence on Zoom make a difference to my team?
It’s hard to imagine a working professional who hasn’t experienced — or at least heard of — Zoom fatigue. In other words, the dread and general disdain for meeting via video call, which you can see as more people stop bothering to turn on their camera, opting instead to appear as a bio photo or faceless avatar during Zoom meetings.
Energizing your video presence is a worthwhile endeavor when it comes to connecting with your team, and here’s why:
Video calls allow for more nuanced communication than audio calls or emails. Non-verbal cues like facial expressions, gestures, and body language are crucial for understanding and can prevent misunderstandings that might occur in text-based communication.
Fosters personal connections
Seeing each other can help build personal connections, fostering a sense of camaraderie and teamwork. It’s easier to form a personal bond with someone when you can see their reactions and share a laugh together.
Video presence often leads to higher engagement during meetings. When you can see each other, it’s easier to stay focused and actively participate in discussions, leading to more productive and collaborative meetings. Think about the last time you were on a Zoom call and none of the participants had their video turned on; doesn’t it make it tempting to check your inbox, fold laundry, or at an at-home DIY manicure at the same time? The truth is, multitasking misses the mark and pulls focus away from the task at hand during video conferences.
Video calls can encourage accountability as participants are more likely to stay engaged and contribute when they are visible to others. In other words, no multitasking behind a bio pic or avatar. This can lead to more active participation and collaboration.
The combination of verbal and visual communication helps clarify points that might be misunderstood in written or audio-only formats. This is particularly important for complex or sensitive topics.
Facilitates remote work
For remote or distributed teams, video calls are essential for maintaining a sense of team unity and connection, reducing feelings of isolation and helping remote team members feel more integrated into the group.
Improves team morale
Regular video interactions can help improve team morale. Seeing each other’s work environments, sharing personal anecdotes, and having casual conversations can create a more relaxed and friendly work atmosphere. Think of the first few minutes of a video call as the missing water cooler transactions in the traditional office. Find out who’s binge-ing what show, the hot Black Friday items on everyone’s shopping list, and who’s hosting Thanksgiving this year. A few minutes of personal debriefing can go a long way to tightening the bonds between your team members and fostering a more positive, productive meeting.
Enhances cultural understanding
In diverse teams, video calls can aid in understanding cultural nuances and expressions, which might be lost in text or audio communication. This understanding is crucial for a harmonious and inclusive work environment.
Benefits brainstorming and problem-solving
Video calls can be more effective for brainstorming sessions and collaborative problem-solving, as they allow for real-time feedback and more dynamic interactions. It’s all too easy to set aside quality brainstorming time in lieu of other, more pressing tasks. Hopping on a video call with everyone involved can motivate your team to bring their best ideas to the table in order to get back to the project at hand with more precision and enthusiasm.
Polishes professionalism and presence
Video calls encourage professionalism and presence. Knowing you’ll be seen by your colleagues can motivate you to present yourself and your workspace in a professional manner, which can positively impact the work culture. Basically, an on-screen video call can put the same onus on you to get yourself as ready as you would if you were giving or attending an in-person presentation or just going into the office to work shoulder-to-shoulder among your teammates.
All of these are compelling reasons to take your video presence seriously. Still, I know it can be scary to spend time on camera, especially when you feel the stakes are high.
That’s why I’m standing by to support you and take your business to the next level! Let’s get started!