How to organize video meetings for distributed and remote teams

Video meetings - article title image
Share on Facebook icon Share on LinkedIn icon Share on Twitter icon

Covid-19 and globalization made their impact on the organization of the workspaces. This is not a secret that the number of distributed and remote teams has rapidly increased lately. More and more companies organize virtual offices and hire employees all over the globe, reaping the benefits of distributed team model which allows tapping into the most skilled employees wherever they live. At the same time, more and more employees started working remotely, forming so-called remote teams, which unlike distributed teams have a central office and part of the team working on-site.

Both remote and distributed team models require reliable communication tool which will let them stay productive and efficient. Virola collaboration tool offers an ability for team members communicate both in text chats, voice and video meetings. It can become a competitive alternative to well-known market players such as Zoom and Webex.

What are the main requirements for productive video conferences?

The right video conferencing software is the key to the successful and productive video conferences. However, what are the main requirements you need to keep in mind when choosing the software?

Here are some of them:

  1. Good video transmission quality
  2. Ability to send messages in chat while communicating and store chat history for further reference
  3. Fast and easy access for other participants

Virola corporate messenger has integrated video meetings functionality. You can start meeting right from the conversation room and any of the participants can join it with a couple of clicks. Video conferences can be initiated in any chat room, both topic-based and private. There is no need to send additional invitations. All users who join the meeting will have specific "Busy Meeting" status. Furthermore, it is possible to send a nudge to those who forgot to join.

During the meeting, all participants can exchange messages, share screen, give remote control and send files. The chat history together with sent attachments will be accessible in the chat room for any participant after the meeting has been completed.

Video conferencing and live avatars in Virola

To make working environment closer to the one in the office, Virola users can activate live avatars and feel more connected with their co-workers. Live avatar is an animated avatar created with periodic camera shots. The main purpose of it is to show that you are at your desk. This unique feature helps employees all over the globe stay more connected, show their emotions and just see each other as if they are working on-site.

Live video streaming can be activated during conference calls in Virola corporate messenger. It is organized in small image placeholders and thus may seem not as realistic as the one in Zoom or Webex, which offer full screen modes. However, this model turned out to be very convenient. All participants are located in the right panel which can be easily scrolled if necessary. Everyone can see who is taking part in the conference and who has activated, microphone, headphones, video streaming or just video watching.

In Virola to watch a video streaming you need to activate special "eye" icon. However, if you have slow Internet connection, you can just leave video streaming and watching options inactive and just listen and speak.

Video camera on or off?

A very interesting post from Harvard Business Review describes a "Zoom fatigue" which is resulted from endless virtual meetings. This explains why more and more employees prefer to keep their video camera off during video conferences. Always being on camera may be taxing stressful and in most cases unnecessary. That is why for Virola conferences was developed an approach which reduces conferencing fatigue and helps to make this process less stressful and more productive.

The study, conducted by researchers from Purdue University, Yale University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology revealed that just one hour of videoconferencing or streaming, for example, emits 150-1,000 grams of carbon dioxide, requires 2-12 liters of water and demands a land area adding up to about the size of an iPad Mini. However, leaving your camera off during a web call can reduce these footprints by 96%.

From the other side, turned on camera during video conferences motivates you to get dressed and stay more focused on what you are doing. You just need to keep balance and turn the camera on when it is necessary and leave it off to reduce the online presence fatigue and stress.