When you should use a video call instead of chat

Chat has been a office software for a few years, however since COVID-19, the use of this software is simply rising. Simply have a look at the development of Slack: On the finish of its 2020 fiscal 12 months, it had 110,000 paid prospects and by 2021, that quantity has elevated to 142,000, according to Statista.

Nevertheless, Slack or different chat platforms might not be the best format for all varieties of office communication. In some instances, it’s higher to hop on a video call instead. Whereas this doesn’t imply you should schedule video calls each single day, there are various situations wherein everybody would profit from a video call versus a chat.

Be intentional together with your communication decisions and select video chat in these 5 conditions.

When you shift to a hybrid office

An estimated 80% of full-time staff anticipate to telecommute at the least three days a week even after the pandemic is over, in accordance with Owl Labs. On this hybrid office, nonetheless, distant staff are inclined to really feel ignored. Four out of every five remote workers really feel that being distant presents challenges that in-office staff don’t expertise, up 10% from 2019.

As extra firms embrace hybrid work as the longer term of enterprise, leaders should look to video as a resolution to maintain workforce members unified, collaborative, and on the identical web page. Whereas chat is effective for transient conversations, it doesn’t all the time permit everybody to really feel included or heard. 

When a face-to-face connection is critical

The visible component of face-to-face communication helps reinforce a depth of that means that you can’t replicate in writing. The nonverbal interchange of eye contact, facial expressions, physique posture, or hand gestures is critical for avoiding miscommunication and growing understanding. 

For this reason video could also be mandatory when there’s the hazard of your message being misconstrued. In The Science of Effective Virtual Communication for Leaders, Leila Ansart, founder of Management Impression Methods, explains what occurs with out the face-to-face side:

When there’s an absence of data, akin to no visible cues, we make our greatest guess as to the truth of what their face or physique is doing. Our minds love to finish the image, so within the absence of truth, typically we piece collectively the cues. . . . When our brains fill within the blanks in occasions akin to this, our understanding turns into our fact, and we then reply to the knowledge as whether it is truth.

Don’t go away staff to make inferences and fill within the blanks. Be clear together with your message by selecting a video call instead of a chat.

When you have to centralize data sharing

Nobody desires to be on a 20-person group chat, making an attempt to maintain up with every new message that comes by means of. Centralizing essential data by getting on a video call with a bigger group of individuals makes it simpler to succeed in everybody clearly and successfully, with out the added burden of fixed chat notifications.

Even higher, you can report these conferences for future reference and hold the recording in a shared drive. If anybody can’t make it, they will simply rewatch the recording later.

When you have to get your workforce’s consideration

Textual content-based varieties of communication are straightforward to disregard, particularly chats in case your inner chat software is used continuously all through the day. Give it some thought: You get a chat, learn it, change again to an electronic mail, after which transfer onto one thing else, forgetting concerning the chat altogether. 

Stop data from being missed or buried in your workforce members’ chat histories by sharing high-priority communications by means of video. Scheduling a video convention upfront, reasonably than hitting “ship” on a spontaneous mass chat thread, additionally permits your workforce to come back ready. 

Instead of following alongside in a text-based dialog, then forgetting about it by the subsequent day, they will hear, contribute, ask questions, ship suggestions and take up the content material then and there.       

When you wish to encourage small group collaborations

Whereas video calls may be exhausting, it’s a perfect format for internet hosting small group collaboration alternatives which might be missed when you’re not in an workplace. Instead of making an attempt to collaborate on a massive group call, which may be difficult, break off into smaller teams the place simply three or 4 staff can brainstorm and collaborate earlier than coming again to the group.

Platforms like Zoom make it straightforward to interrupt teams into small rooms, permitting staff to attach and share whereas being heard. This could additionally cut back the distractions of bigger video calls or group chat threads as a result of small group interactions may help hold staff engaged.

Whereas video shouldn’t be your go-to format for communication, it’s a beneficial software in sure conditions. Get intentional about when you select video over chat to make sure that staff really feel heard, linked, and understood.