In this pandemic context, more people are working from home than ever before, and many of them are shyly turning off their cameras. They don’t want to be seen either because they aren’t dressed up, shaved or with makeup on, or because their background is messy. Therefore, most of the cameras are off and the meetings have reverted to audio-only conferences.
Many of my clients with leading positions complain that they feel this remote work has negatively impacted their teams and the way they communicate, worrying that, if the situation goes on for another 6 months or a year, the team spirit will be harmed.
That is why I always encourage them to get as close to personal interaction as possible, to be a model and promote video calls, as they lead to better business outcomes than audio-only calling regarding two aspects:
1) the subject – with the cameras on, people are more focused, engaging more deeply with the topic discussed during the meeting;
2) the team – video reduces the feeling of isolation and promotes team chemistry, making the interaction more personal. At the same time, it allows non verbal communication, which does speak volumes, as you can get a real-time gauge on what people are feeling just from their facial expressions. And when colleagues feel more connected, they are more likely to involve more, help each other or to accept compromises when they disagree.
So encourage your team to turn on their cameras, stay connected and curious about how they are feeling and you will see evidence of higher engagement, satisfaction and thus, productivity.