With Coronavirus lockdown, multiple people are forced to start working from home. This has also resulted in an unprecedented increase in the video calling directly from home. 4
With this, people are more relying on the video calling apps like Google Duo, Meet, Skype, WhatsApp, Zoom and more to establish official communication or conduct meetings for the teams or employees. However, However, in some cases, it does not feel quite the same as an in-person conversation one used to have before the whole Coronavirus pandemic. Right?
So, to solve this problem, Google has come up with some interesting tips that make your video-calling experience much more natural. So, without wasting much time, here are the 5 tips from Google for a better video calling experience.
Try to provide verbal feedback
Providing verbal feedback when some someone is talking is a crucial point. Humans have spent about 7,000 years to learn to communicate face-to-face and we tend to notice if someone is replying until a half-second. Google says that a delay of five-tenth of a second (500ms) during a video call, which can be caused due to laggy audio or time is taken to reach for the unmute button, is double of what we are used in person. These delays tend to mess up with the fundamental turn-talking mechanics of the conversations. So, in order to avoid this one should avoid unintended interruptions and if it is a smaller group, one can use verbal feedback like ‘mmhmm, ‘okay’ and more to show that you are listening to them actively.
Bring small personal talk in between to get more connected
One would notice that whenever you are in an office meeting, it sometimes starts with some informal small talk. People used to share some personal information during the meeting gets started. Google reveals that sharing small personal information helps people to work together.
Science shows that teams who share personal information perform better than teams who don’t. So, it is important to dedicated some time with some small personal talks before starting a meeting to make it more productive in nature and one can also connect with colleagues over virtual coffee or launch breaks.
Always maintain eye contact and use visual cues
You might have noticed that during a face-to-face conversation with someone, you need to use visual cues like hand movement and more. Furthermore, one also maintain eye contact so that the speaker is more comfortable. One should also follow these things during a video conferencing. Research shows that on video calls where social cues are harder to see, we take 25 per cent fewer speaking turns. Making eye contact and giving visual cues makes the speaker comfortable and it gives a much more natural vibe as if we are talking in-person.
Have an open conversation with teammates
It is important to have an open conversation with teammates while working remotely. There are times when things go wrong, remote teams are likely to put the blame on one individual rather than examining the situation. Furthermore, not everyone has the same style of working. One should make it clear about the preferred working styles and how you might complement each other. Biological Anthropologist Helen Fisher has shown that we can harness the “productive friction” of diverse work styles today similar to how hunter-gatherers did 50,000 years ago to determine if a newly discovered plant was poisonous, medicinal or delicious.
Just pass the talking stick
Google says that conversations on calls are less dynamic and the talking stick gets passed less often. This means that not all team members get an equal opportunity to convey their points in a video call. Computational social scientists like Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland and Anita Woolley have shown that higher-performing groups aren’t made up of individuals with higher IQs but instead people who are more sensitive to emotions and share the floor more equally. So, one should also encourage a balanced conversation where everyone in the video call should get equal opportunities to speak.