In a blog post from last year, we addressed some trends in the collaboration landscape including remote working. It seems that people nowadays work from wherever they can. Their home offices, from the airport or even from a beach at the Bahamas. It’s quite a popular trend that does not seem to end anytime soon.
One of the reasons for its popularity is that the competition between companies for highly skilled talent is intensifying and that the best talent does not always live around next door. Also, employees that do live near, often prefer not to work in the same dusty office every day. And let’s be fair, who does not enjoy a change of scenery every now and then?
But what does this mean for the way teams collaborate? Well, for one it means companies need to offer their people technologies that enable them to communicate as naturally as possible. Email is still one of the most popular ways to communicate with colleagues and team chat is quickly catching up. But no matter how great these tools, they cannot replace face-to-face communication.
You could wonder if face-to-face communication is still really necessary with so many other ways to communicate with one another? Well yes, it is! Why? Because of the non-verbal clues. Of course, not all non-verbal clues are created equal. Gestures, for example, can have different meanings in different cultures, but facial expressions tend to be similar all over the world. And you should never underestimate the difference a facial expression can make in conveying a message.
Let me give an example that I think a lot of people will recognize. You receive an email that upsets you because of its rude tone. Your first reaction is to respond with an email in the same tone of voice causing a back and forth of snappy emails. My advice: the next time you find yourself in such a situation, don’t write anything back, but make sure you address this person face-to-face. Nine times out of ten they didn’t really mean to say what they wrote but they just chose the wrong words to communicate their opinion. When this is the case, you’ll definitely see it in their posture and facial expression.
And also in communication with people outside of the company seeing another person’s face can avoid misinterpretation of words. In addition, it contributes to more successful sales. A study conducted by Harvard researchers, for example, showed that a face-to-face request is 34 times more successful than sending an email with the same request.
Impact on global footprint
While face-to-face communication is essential for any business, it does not necessarily mean that you have to be in the same physical space as the people you’re talking to. Videoconferencing is a and alternative which you really should consider. If it were only because of the impact it can have on your carbon footprint, should you choose to video call your colleagues rather than to drive or fly to another office location. The future of meetings is online!
Secure videoconferencing solutions
Ok, so video conferencing it is. But what tool should you choose? It depends of course on what you need. There are consumer solutions like WhatsApp and business tools such as Zoom or GoToMeeting. The problem with these products is that they are closed source and not very secure. Most if not all of these tools allow the app provider to access your conversation. This is for example what happened at Microsoft who were shown to transcribe their customer’s Skype conversations.
Meet for business
What’s left? Kopano Meet of course! Kopano Meet is secure, open-source and easy to use. Video calls with Meet take place directly between you and the people you call, with no third-party in between. This way the provider’s server will never have direct access to your calls. On top of that, all your calls are encrypted. The first version of Meet has launched two weeks ago and is now ready for business. Interested? Read more on our dedicated Meet web page and do not forget to try our demo!