If you haven’t yet, let this be the moment that you discover video communication is one of the most useful tools of modern work.
I’m confident it will be worth your time.
The last year forced many of us out of the office and into remote work environments where we had to find new ways to maintain the productivity and engagement afforded by co-location.
Using video at work emerged as one of the best ways to do it.
Now, as we confront an imminent return to offices, it’s good to consider what we might want to keep from the days of working in home offices, spare bedrooms, basements, and dining rooms.
Video as an everyday communication tool just might be one of those things.
Here are six reasons why, even once you go back to the office, your company needs to be using video every day.
1. Create shared purpose and understanding
Common purpose is critical to reaching organizational goals. Instilling it throughout a team or company takes clear and consistent communication starting with the CEO and senior leaders, down through management.
When employees understand a business or organization’s purpose, goals, messaging, and market positioning, they are best equipped to tackle their functional roles.
Using video to spread important information is one of the best ways to grow the kind of common understanding that elevates organizations.
Meetings, emails, write-ups, and conversations can be effective, but each has its drawbacks. People tune out during meetings and presentations. Emails and documents are often skimmed for important details. And while conversations are great, you can’t rely on spontaneity when it comes to evangelizing mission critical information.
Recording a video and sharing it with your team or company combines the formality and power of a meeting with the flexibility of a document or email.
A video lets you pack lots of information into an easy-to-consume package.
For example, a video is great for laying out business strategy in a presentation. Or you can combine data and information from dashboards and systems not everyone can access or knows how to use.
Another great use is to demonstrate processes that everyone on a team or within a department needs to master.
On the flip side, video allows employees, team members, and partners to consume information on their own time, at their own pace.
If they miss a portion, they can run it back. If they want to shorten the watch time a bit, they can play the video at 1.5x speed.
And, later, if they are working on a project and need a reminder, they can return to the video, refresh their memory, and continue working.
2. Improved clarity boosts the quality of work while minimizing time to completion
While good work in less time is always the goal, it often feels like we have to choose between the two. “Do you want it done fast or do you want it done right?”, the old adage goes.
Using video to explain ideas and tasks or to deliver feedback can eliminate the need to choose, helping companies complete work both faster and to a higher degree of quality.
The specificity and clarity of a short video exceeds that of even the most eloquent emails because most people understand information better when it is presented visually.
There’s no questioning what you are referring to when the recipient can see it on their screen as they listen to your explanation.
It all amounts to less rounds of work before a project or task is completed and fewer errors from miscommunication.
3. Get the most out of the tools your company pays for
Most organizations invest in tools and systems that let them conduct efficient business and track performance.
Ideally, as many people as possible have access to the insights provided by these services, if not the tools themselves.
The trouble can be that knowledge of how to access and use them isn’t always universal.
There are always employees that can wrangle the systems and derive critical information, but leaving it all to the experts can create bottlenecks and workload issues.
You can use video to break the dam of expertise in two ways.
First encourage experts to create videos that explain or walk through the dashboards, interfaces, and data they know how to access.
Second have the experts create videos that demonstrate how to access the information and insights. Colleagues that watch these videos will learn the processes and techniques and level up their own abilities.
Democratizing the information and skills associated with the tools your organization spends money on yields greater ROI and improves employee and company performance.
4. Reduce the stress induced by an “always online” mentality
An email arrives and the computer dings. Then comes another instant message and a chime plays. Followed by another message or email, all while you’re on a video call or meeting.
It can be an overwhelming experience and the “always available” mentality creates an urge to address everything right away.
Using video can create a manageable communication flow by eliminating the need to immediately hop on a video call or answer questions.
In some instances where a call would be helpful, a video is just as effective. The convenience of using video is that not everyone needs to be available at the same time.
One person creates and shares a video, and those that need the information can watch it as they have time.
The flexibility alleviates stress and, in time, can help employees feel more comfortable as they move through busy workdays.
5. Less conversation, more execution
We spend a lot of time talking at work. Generally speaking, that’s a good thing. Discussion is where ideas are formed, plans are laid out, and decisions are made.
But there can be too much talk.
Like when you’re trying to determine something over text messages or email, which often devolves into a drawn out back-and-forth of asking a question, receiving a clarifying answer, and then asking a subsequent question.
Instead, visuals and videos cut through the fog to deliver clear answers with little room for misinterpretation.
Creating a short video with Snagit is almost always faster than trying to explain with text.
The best way to make this happen is to be the spark yourself. Start using Snagit to give feedback or present new ideas. In time, others will see the convenience and likely begin using video themselves.
6. Close the distance between remote employees
In the past, when a question arose you could stand up, walk a few desks down, and ask a colleague. Not so much when we’re all working from different locations.
Now, when that question pops up, many feel a pang of anxiety considering how they will explain the context so their colleague can provide an adequate answer. A sense of isolation may even creep in.
Using video to explain and ask questions recreates the easy dynamics and connection of being in the office.
Record a short video with Snagit.
Then, using one of the many sharing outputs, send it to a colleague through a company communication channel, like Slack. Coworkers can easily watch the video and provide the necessary answer, perhaps with a video of their own.
It’s as good as sitting next to one another without the interruption or, you know, the need to be in the same building.
Pandemic, no pandemic, remote work and the practices developed while it’s been a norm aren’t going away just because we can return to our office buildings.
We have new rhythms, routines, and flexibility, developed to accommodate and, for many, make remote work a better experience than office work once was.
Most employers recognize this and other benefits of remote work. As a result, they are looking to strike a new balance between office and remote work.
So, even as we return to our old work spaces, one of the best ways for companies to navigate a new era of flexible work formats will be learning to use video as an effective communication tool.
Video communication is the transmission of information through streaming video or asynchronous video sharing. It allows participants to communicate using audio and video, whether live on a video call or by recording a video and sharing it.
Video communication is ideal for sharing complex ideas, providing feedback, or demonstrating processes. It is a great way to give presentations that others can reference later on or might not be able to attend in person.
Asynchronous video communication can be used to share everything from business strategy to data and dashboards. Using screen and web camera video together lets you present information while including a personal element.
Asynchronous communication is communication that does not happen in real-time. Instead of speaking directly to a person, a message is sent and then they respond when they are ready. Using visuals helps to make asynchronous communication and flexible and powerful communication technique for busy offices and employees.