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The Role of Live Video in Remote Working

Last year, live video in remote working became essential. The technology is one reason so many could do their jobs from home when the pandemic forced both employees and employers to rethink how they work. And it looks as if the shift to remote working is something here to stay. Statistics show that over the previous five years the percentage of people working from home in the UK grew steadily, albeit slowly. But thanks to Covid-19, the percentage of people working from home jumped from 5% in 2019 to 48% in April 2020.

Video conferencing tools helped these remote workers to communicate in real-time with coworkers. These types of live video solutions work well for a limited number of people, but only if schedules align (as with any in-person meeting). There are many factors that impact remote workers that require more flexibility in scheduling and different options for communications. For example, it may not be possible for an employee to work the usual day hours because they have children at home. But they can work in the evenings when the children are asleep. Many other domestic issues can make work schedules asynchronous, even if everyone is in the same time zone.

Beyond Live Video for Remote Workers

So, live video meetings may not meet the needs of everyone. Companies embracing the work from home shift are discovering they also need the services of an online video provider to compliment the tools they already have. Here’s a look at how and why these services can help companies ensure their remote workers are engaged and staying productive.

There’s always someone who misses the meeting

Despite all the effort that goes into deconflicting schedules when planning a meeting, things happen. For one reason or another, one or more people can’t make the scheduled time. But sometimes the meeting needs to happen anyway. The good news is that most video conferencing tools allow you to record meetings. In concept then, there isn’t an issue because the missing person can watch the video later to catch up. Except it’s not that simple.

While conferencing solutions may you record the video, they don’t all provide a platform for sharing the recording later. Meeting hosts often have two choices: Record the meeting to a file locally on their computer or record it to the cloud storage of the vendor. Let’s look at the latter first.

A recording on the cloud sounds like a perfect option, but there are usually size or time limitations on those recordings. And yes, recording this way will cost you extra in most cases. In addition, the meeting’s host is usually the only one who has access to the video. The worker that missed the meeting can’t just click to watch it when they have the time. In many cases, the host can’t share the video but only has the option to download it. Which leads back to the first choice of recording locally.

Whether recorded locally or downloaded after, how does that video file become available to workers who need to see it? Video files can be large, usually too large to share via email. Uploading them to public video sites, even as unlisted videos, puts your internal company information at risk of being discovered.

The solution?

Use an online video provider to upload your meetings and provide a secure on-demand option for employees to watch when their schedule allows.

Supervisors can still supervise

One of the many issues facing companies with remote workers is supervision. How do you know your workers are actually working? There are some drastic options that require your employees to install software that lets you watch what they are doing. While effective, they don’t do much for employee morale. But when live video meetings between coworkers or managers are recorded, then made available via an online video platform, supervisors can check in discreetly and see how the employees are working during the meeting. If any issues arise, the managers can follow up directly and take whatever action is appropriate.

Video conferencing doesn’t scale

One drawback of video conferencing is that it doesn’t scale well for large organizations. The most attendees you can have at a meeting is about one thousand, no matter what vendor you’re using. Even then, it requires the most expensive package available to get to that many people. Larger companies needing to conduct a live training or make important announcements to all employees at the same time are limited by this. Using an online video platform, you can live stream to an unlimited number of viewers. Because these services are designed to handle large streaming events, there usually aren’t any extra charges based on the number of viewers. Company-wide events like this can help employees stay connected and feel like part of the organization, even if they are far away.

Tools for Better Collaboration

Having an online video platform as part of your remote working program provides many opportunities for employees to collaborate visually. There are many situations where real-time video isn’t practical. For example, a geographically dispersed workforce may be in opposite time zones. A face-to-face video call isn’t practical. Email is great, but sometimes a brief explanation or demonstration is better. In these cases, an employee could make a short video using their mobile phone or webcam, then upload for on-demand viewing by another employee.

Planning for the Future

The last few months have shown us that video is critical to a remote worker’s ability to do their jobs. Whether it is planning or collaborating, live real-time video only solves a portion of issues that arise with a distributed workforce. Companies looking ahead are investing in tools that help them manage and deliver video for a variety of use cases from training to employee management. Online video platforms are designed to meet these needs now and in the future.

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