In just the last decade, video exploded in popularity and became the most consumed form of content in the world. In fact, people around the world watched a combined 1 billion hours of video every day on YouTube, not to mention the combined 100 million hours spent on Facebook videos every day.
Today, it’s never been easier to create and consume video content. From Skype calls with grandparents to watching Netflix on your phone on the subway, video has become a part of our everyday lives—and that includes at work.
Organizations are coming up with some creative uses for video in the workplace that go beyond traditional video meetings. Let’s explore how some businesses use video to drive better communication and collaboration.
1. Manufactured social time: Build stronger connections with remote colleagues.
One of the biggest challenges for a distributed workforce is building high-quality connections with coworkers. When everyone’s remote, there aren’t any chance encounters in the breakroom or stopping at coworkers’ desks to strike up conversations.
Human connections are critical to developing trust and teamwork, so Ollie, a tech entrepreneur with remote employees, decided to use video meetings to manufacture social time for his teams. The idea (called Team Thursdays) was for Ollie and his employees to simply hang out together, chat about life, and get to know each other, but through a virtual meeting room instead of a physical meeting room.
“It is clear that a bond has also developed between my team members since we initiated Team Thursday. That closeness was not evident a year ago,” said Ollie.
2. Always-on virtual meeting rooms: Help remote workers feel connected to the office.
Teams that are remote (permanently or for long periods of time) can feel left out of their organization’s culture and community. To keep their remote employees feeling connected, Connor, an industry solutions architect at a SaaS company, implemented an “always-on virtual meeting room.”
The goal of the always-on virtual meeting room is to simulate an office space without being physically in the office. Employees can jump in and out of the meeting room whenever they want and talk about any topic, business or personal. Instead of setting up a meeting or call for every question, employees could simply hop in and ask away.
Connor’s employees got faster responses to questions, participated in more discussions, and felt more productive overall.
3. Ad-hoc meetings: Keep remote teams on the same page.
Team messaging can only go so far before chats get convoluted or confusing, especially when colleagues are remotely working on a project together. So Kara, who started a design studio with fully remote employees, turned to video to keep everyone in the loop.
For Kara, the most valuable type of video meetings were ad hocs, or meetings with a specific purpose. Employees used ad hoc video meetings to catch up on projects together in just minutes. Additionally, those bursts of in-the-moment conversations are similar to drive-by conversations in the office and help build stronger relationships between colleagues.
On ad-hoc meetings: “It gives us all a chance to connect on a more personal level,” said Kara.
4. A massive, always-on TV: Bridge offices in different locations together.
When offices are thousands of miles away from each other, it can often feel like each office is operating independently as its own business. Benjy, then a senior engineer of a New York–based tech firm, was put in charge of managing his company’s new team based in San Francisco. His goal was to bridge their offices together and create a cohesive identity.
The solution was placing a camera in the middle of each office’s workspace and streaming the video feed to a giant TV in the other office. When certain events or celebrations happened in one office, the employees in the other could watch the TV and join in on the fun.
Benjy’s TVs helped foster interpersonal connections between the two offices and ensured that every employee felt included.
5. Coffee breaks with random partners: Create virtual break rooms and foster chance encounters.
Remote employees tend to fall into the habit of working solo, especially when they’re not familiar with their colleagues. The problem is that isolated work hinders communication, collaboration, and productivity. That’s why Sid, founder of an infrastructure tech firm startup, decided to create randomized coffee breaks.
Sid pairs random members of his staff together and schedules coffee breaks into their calendars. The goal is to simulate coffee room chance encounters that often happen in physical offices and are essential to developing bonds between colleagues. The two employees are then free to talk about anything they want—work, life, weekend plans, etc.
Sid’s employees felt much more connected to their colleagues despite not sharing an office space together.
Wherever your teams are, video brings them together.
These creative applications for video in the workplace have one objective in common: to build stronger relationships between employees. Sure, video meetings are essential for getting teams together for a project—but its value extends far beyond just delivering projects across the finish line. Video meetings can build real, human connections—and that’s more important today than ever before.
Effective and innovative video meetings start with having the right technology. With RingCentral, your video meetings exist in the same platform as your team messaging and calling tools. When you want to start a meeting, it’s as easy as clicking a button. Additionally, meetings with partners and clients can be done over a browser—no need to download apps or set up login credentials.
Today’s workforce relies on video to effectively communicate and collaborate. If your teams are equipped with video meetings that are both easy to use and quick to deploy, your organization is on its way to unprecedented collaboration in an increasingly remote workforce.
Learn how RingCentral Video allows your teams to collaborate better wherever they are. Also, check out Unrecognizable Collaboration: How Teams Work Together, from Everywhere to learn about how organizations are innovating with video to facilitate collaboration between their employees.
Originally published Apr 08, 2020, updated Jan 18, 2023