December 22, 2015

Article

5 video strategies that can solve holiday-related office challenges

The holiday rush is already upon us, and chances are that you have run into a few productivity roadblocks already. Just about every organization, regardless of how well-managed and efficient it is, will run into unexpected scheduling challenges, productivity declines and similar issues as the holidays hit. People take time off. They work remotely – and to be clear, this can mean in an unusual location for them like a family member’s house, not just their cozy home office. The result is major changes in employee availability and attentiveness.

We recently talked about how you can keep your employees engaged during this hectic time of year. Let’s build on that conversation and delve into how video can solve your holiday-related problems. Engagement is certainly one of those issues, but with the holidays already upon us, the reminder of just how stressful this time of year can be is here. With that in mind, here are five ways that you can go beyond simple engagement and use video to create a healthy and productive workplace:

1. Make meetings easy to attend
With many workers officially on the clock, but working from remote locations, holding virtual meetings becomes absolutely essential. But how do you create a virtual meeting that is just as productive as an in-person session? The phone can be an effective tool, but these sessions are hit and miss. Some people will engage well in the conversation via phone, while others will not really focus on the conversation and just slip into a background role. You could ask people to go out of their way to get into the office for key sessions, but that can breed stress and resentment. Video events, on the other hand, have the impact of an in-person meeting with the flexibility of a phone conference.

Using video for major meetings can keep your employees connected across disparate locations and simplify the holiday for all of your workers.

2. Make people feel appreciated
The holidays are a tough time for many people to be in the office. At home, they are pouring time into their loved ones, expending significant effort on making their friends and family feel loved and, hopefully, having those feelings reciprocated. Asking people to leave that caring environment to come into the office and get down to business can put a huge strain on the employee-company relationship. The holidays are a time to show appreciation to the people in our lives, reflect on the past year and look ahead to a bright future. You don’t want your office to neglect that atmosphere of hopefulness.

Video can help you show your employees that they are valued. You hold large company meetings where executives thank employees for another year of hard work and celebrate the company’s achievements, create on-demand content where individuals talk about what they’ve appreciated at the company in the past year or let users makeĀ their own videos to celebrate a year passed and a new year coming. All of these content types can generateĀ a sense of connectedness at the holidays and make the office a better place to be.

3. Establish policies in a friendly way
It isn’t fun for anybody to head into late December looking forward to vacation time and celebrations only to get a formal, rigid email from HR or managers reminding everybody of policies and expectations for the next few weeks. This puts everybody into a tricky position. On one hand, HR and managers need to keep everybody focused to ensure productivity and coordination as a company. On the other, employees already have enough stress trying to stay on top of busy schedules at home and in the office, and can consider these reminders to be pushy and overly commanding.

Conversely, a fun, friendly video that celebrates the holidays in a light way while also reminding people what the expectations are for the season comes across as more personable and approachable. This makes it easier to establish policies and have employees be receptive to them.

4. Encourage video meetings for geographically distributed work teams
As enterprise workforces are increasingly distributed across diverse locations, many people may have colleagues that they work with throughout the year without ever actually seeing. Phone conversations and emails are nice, but no virtual event captures a personal connection quite like a video meeting. The holidays are a time for homecoming, reconnecting with old friends and focusing on the personal relationships that make life so special. Bring this atmosphere to the office by getting different teams and work groups together for video meetings. Even if you only do this once a year, it can be a special time for people to connect and celebrate a year of success together.

Personal connections often drive success at the office, and making an effort to celebrate those relationships around the holidays can bring the atmosphere of the season into the workplace without detracting from productivity.

5. Reduce stress
The holidays can be a great time of celebration, but they also take a lot of work. People can become extremely stressed with their personal to-do lists, and bringing that strain into the office can create problems for everybody. This is especially true as the holiday season creates logistical nightmares trying to coordinate schedules for meetings and similar events when different people will be taking time off throughout the month.

Trying to balance these work schedules while also keeping up with personal time demands can put a huge amount of stress on your workers. Video makes scheduling much easier. So what if somebody can’t make it into the office on a given day? Just create a video meeting and it won’t matter. Suddenly, a wave of scheduling stress disappears as people can be more flexible and adapt their schedules with relative ease. You still have to worry about time off, but you don’t have to coordinate meetings around anybody’s availability at the office any longer.

The holidays create plenty of problems around the office, but video can solve many of them, making life easier for your workers.