Coronavirus is sweeping across the planet and to flatten the curve, we are advised to stay home. Amidst this crisis, many employees all over the world are working from home. I also work from home and my business day involves attending multiple video calls on Zoom. It’s normal to have two zoom meetings, which is why I was quick to take advantage of the Optimum deals and upgraded my Internet plan at an economical rate.
Have you noticed productivity goes down when you have two or more video calls are scheduled in a day? It’s not just you and I…so many others are experiencing the same.
How Does Video Conferencing Hinder Productivity?
A survey revealed 42% of remote workers felt productive after working for uninterrupted hours. A continuous stream of virtual distraction on apps including video conferencing has been deeply distracting.
On video calls, about 42 percent of participants don’t contribute anything and 56 percent of the participants wished they spent less time on video calls. These calls might give an illusion of productivity but very little work is done.
27% of employees say that video calls create a communication barrier in the team. People are 3 times more likely to deliver the actions agreed in writing than video because they fail to communicate important information. Some participants even complain about a lack of focus in video meetings.
How to Avoid the Productivity Paradox?
Video conferences are similar to office meetings except that they are virtual. Just because you can gather your team to schedule a video call, doesn’t mean everything should be discussed in the video. Sometimes, the objective can be met better with an email.
Follow these tips to improve productivity:
Step 1: Determine the appropriate method of communication
Conduct online meetings only when it’s necessary. Sometimes, all it takes an email to communicate the message.
Step 2: Prepare the agenda
If the message cannot be delivered through email and you have to conduct a meeting, create an agenda. Don’t keep the objectives general and broad.
Step 3: Include only necessary members
Anyone who doesn’t need to be present in the video conference must be excluded. If a few key team members can attend the meeting and convey the message to the rest, go for it. This way you are saving productivity hours.
Step 4: Set the Meeting’s Duration
The final step is to figure out the right duration. Don’t schedule hour-long meetings. 15 to 20 minutes are more than enough to convey the message. Consider the attention span of the participants too. Avoid tangents during the meeting.
Tips to Boost Productivity
Even if you are not conducting daily meetings, it’s important to take measures to make them productive. Here are some tips to begin with:
Choose a proper setting
Choose a quiet and appropriate location for hosting the meeting. There shouldn’t be kids running, babies crying or dogs barking in the background. These can be counterproductive.
Be on time
A lot of time is wasted in gathering the entire team. Make sure all participants are on time. Experts suggest to schedule meetings at odd times so that people take extra care to be present. Encourage all members to avoid small talk at the beginning or during the meetings.
Double-check all your techs
To ensure the meeting starts on time, everyone must make sure their tech, Internet, and conferencing service are working properly.
Your face must be clear and feasible. You must be able to share your screen. Background noise must be eliminated.
Keep everyone muted
During video calls, background noise can be distracting. Manually asking each participant to mute their microphones can be extremely cumbersome. Encourage all members to keep their microphone muted before the meeting begins.
Only those participants can un-mute who have to speak. This keeps the meetings short and focused. Also, everyone can hear the person talking clearly.
Put someone in charge
Only one person must be in charge of the discussion during the meeting. When 2 to 3 people are sharing their ideas and talking at the same time, the entire essence of the meeting is disrupted.
Delegate the task to a colleague with the most expertise to hold the meeting. The host doesn’t need to be the one in charge of the meeting. Start the meeting by introducing the topic and put the other person in charge.
Video conferencing has its advantages but don’t let it control you. It’s time to address the demon before it wastes more productive hours.
Along with these measures, make sure your Internet connection doesn’t give up on you. Pixelated images and voice distortion was the reason why I switched to Optimum Internet plans. Identify what’s breaking your team’s productivity during online meetings and address them immediately.