Working from anywhere, at any time, using any device has extended well beyond being a generational mantra. Today it’s fueling the trend toward the truly mobile enterprise. And as this evolution continues to take shape, the progressive use of video as a primary mean of business interaction is growing in acceptance across industries.
As organizations continue to arm the user base with mobile devices including smartphones, tablets as well as hybrid devices, powerful video capabilities are understandably gaining acceptance in unison.
As a result, it’s a perfect time for IT to discuss video best practices, especially for empowering mobile users. While the list below is far from exhaustive, embracing these best practices can significantly improve results.
Embrace environmental awareness. While mobility makes “anywhere” a reality, it’s still important to adhere to professional standards. This is true especially when communicating with business partners, suppliers or customers. For instance, conducting a video call in a restroom or busy dining room is never acceptable. If you are in an area where it’s inappropriate to conduct a videoconference, take advantage of presence tools to temporarily restrict video as an option.
Remain attentive. One of the primary benefits of a video is the ability to leverage the intimacy that only occurs with face-to-face contact. As a result, maintaining eye contact—by focusing on the camera—is a must. Those on the other end will know when you are multitasking, and doing so sends the message that the call is not that important to you.
Be mindful of movement. As important as it is for you to maintain contact with the other party, you want to make sure you actions—and those around you are not causing distraction. Sitting down while conducting a video call is a great way to help avoid distractive movements. And, doing so helps keep the other party focused on you. Sometimes movement is unavoidable, such as taking a call from a tradeshow floor. In these instances, try to find a stationary background that can serve as a blank backdrop.
Practice using business tools. Beyond face-to-face interaction, today’s videoconferencing tools allow users to leverage document and PowerPoint sharing. For instance, files associated with a session can be placed in public or private areas for future use. When accessed by the session leader during a Web conference, all participants are able to view and download files stored in the public area, making it easy for dispersed teams or meetings to access important information. Mastering this process prior to customer or partner calls provides a significantly higher comfort level. Encourage users to work with peers on practice calls to try out the various tools and learn from one another. When users establish a comfort level, they are more apt to focus their attention on the other party.
Don’t be intimidated by multipoint. One-on-one video calls are great, but don’t shy away from multipoint calls. Many in-person meetings involve multiple participants, and so should your video calls. Just be mindful of traditional meeting etiquette. Make sure you address all participants and that all remain engaged. Be sure to set some ground rules for taking the microphone; you must make all participants comfortable to speak their minds.
Enjoy the process. The results often coincide with attitude, and apprehension shows through as much as excitement. Users need to remember that video is simply the conduit for engagement. Have fun and interact as if you were in physical proximity.
As IT rolls out best practices, it’s important to remember that the practice is evolving. And, for many, video is still a relatively new means of engagement. Knowing that video allows users to build stronger relationships, enhance productivity, improve responsiveness and seamlessly collaborate, IT should encourage users to embrace opportunities to leverage video. This often means encouraging experimentation and providing support as needed.