With more lockdowns seemingly imminent, learning from the first round of mass home working has become even more important, and research from video cloud technology provider Kaltura has revealed the increasing role of video in shaping remote workers’ communication, from onboarding, to corporate directives, to conversations with colleagues.
For the Role of video in the new normal study, Kaltura sampled more than 1,000 respondents in the US in July 2020, using Google Surveys. Fundamentally, the study showed that as the world rapidly switched to remote work in response to Covid-19, employers and employees alike were forced to quickly transition to video tools to ensure business continuity.
But with the effects of Covid ongoing, Kaltura felt that examining the impact of video was critical to prepare for the new normal. It revealed that not only does video have the capacity to provide all the solutions for work productivity, it can also offer essential tools for team building and remote office culture.
Moreover, and most importantly, employers realised that remote work did, in fact, work, as video solutions such as Zoom maintained employee workflow and efficiency. Yet although businesses realised early on that productivity was unaffected, the same could not be said for office culture.
In all, the Kaltura survey discovered just over-two thirds (68%) of employees stated that they wanted the choice of fully remote or hybrid options from their companies, and that after nearly four months of lockdown, 63% of employees spoke less with colleagues. And with just under 75% of employees believing that their social relationships with colleagues have changed, Kaltura observed that employees have clearly missed conversations over non-work-related matters and casual chats with team members.
Yet just as work and home lives continue to merge, the study gave indications as to how businesses will now need to rethink how company culture can be maintained outside of the physical office. And just as the social aspects of office culture have been affected, working from home has also shaken up the professional aspects of this culture.
For instance, Kaltura says that onboarding will need to be reconsidered, as the traditional process of meeting team members face-to-face has been disrupted. Nearly two-thirds (57%) of employees believe that pre-recorded video messages are the best way to welcome newcomers into the company and culture. The conclusion was that onboarding will now require various video-driven tools both to teach skills and build company culture and community.
Kaltura’s survey also revealed other key findings about video and remote work, such as video being found to be a popular way for newcomers to introduce themselves to their teams.
At the same time, 43% of the survey’s respondents reported that they would like a more “personal”, real-time one-on-one video interaction for training purposes, and over 80% of employees believe remote office communication does not require training tools.
Even though not everyone has got to grips with the age of Zoom, 57% of employees believed that small talk in virtual meetings is necessary, while 42% of employees would rather have flexible video options, such as pre-recorded messages in addition to scheduled virtual meetings. Almost half of employees responding to the survey said they would like executives to communicate in additional (audio or visual) ways other than just email.
“Video communication has become critical for all organisations of all sizes,” said Michal Tsur, co-founder and president of Kaltura, commenting on the research.
“Covid-19 has highlighted the need for variation in remote styles of communication. Users are looking not only to exchange information and data, but also to interact and socialise, and with consumerisation of enterprise video communication and collaboration, users expect a similar range of communication options as in their private lives.”