In a world of increasingly distributed teams, video conferencing has become the standard for how organizations communicate and collaborate.
We know the benefits of video conferencing for brainstorming and urgent problem-solving, but an overdependence on live communication takes a toll on productivity and morale. Some 39% of knowledge workers in the U.S. feel overwhelmed by weekly video conferencing calls and 48% feel pressured to join calls that they don’t feel are relevant to their work, according to a study by design platform Canva.
To communicate efficiently and effectively in a distributed environment, you need the right tool for the job.
Enter asynchronous video.
Asynchronous video is one-way video communication recorded and shared for viewing at any time. It isn’t a replacement for video conferencing, but a way to optimize situational awareness and manage workloads so that when real-time dialogue is necessary, it’s as clear and productive as possible.
Asynchronous video combines the clarity, emotion, and engagement of video conferencing with the flexibility, ease, and retention of an e-mail or instant message. It’s a powerful tool for saving time, reducing costs, and improving productivity – and best of all, it’s easy to get started.
Here are five crucial times you should use asynchronous video to make an impact at your organization.
1. Make status updates more efficient and actionable
Whether it’s a daily stand-up, weekly scrum, or quarterly departmental share-out, use asynchronous video to pre-record content and circulate it with relevant stakeholders for on-demand viewing.
Not only does this save time by eliminating the procedural baton-passing of a typical status update, but it also allows all team members to access consistent information regardless of geography or schedules.
Importantly, asynchronous status updates provide each person with an equal opportunity to engage with content, at the time and pace they require. This makes for stronger team alignment and more meaningful and productive conversations when regrouping for a live meeting.
Take action: “Flip” your next status meeting by recording a brief video update for your team. Start small and don’t worry about polish – an effective flipped meeting is authentic and engaging, just like a live conversation. How might your team provide feedback on your update with a video of their own?
2. Preserve and share institutional knowledge for greater productivity
Your employees spend a significant amount of time repeatedly explaining the same tools and processes to colleagues. Asynchronous video helps people distill essential information into bite-sized learning modules that teammates can access when and where they need it.
Employees can find information at the speed of need by searching within an asynchronous video for the precise answer to their question without having to watch the entire recording or rely on other colleagues.
Creating an internal learning library of simple, self-recorded videos improves productivity and efficiency in the short term, while preserving key institutional knowledge in the long term.
Take action: Ask each of your team members to record an informal how-to video documenting a common tool or process essential to their work. Share this mini video learning library across your department. How does it impact productivity? Could it inspire other teams to follow suit?
3. Ensure consistent and engaging onboarding
A robust onboarding experience is essential to motivating new hires and setting them up for success, particularly as teams become increasingly distributed across different locations, time zones, and regions.
Asynchronous video helps standardize onboarding processes that are typically dependent on each individual manager or office, creating a more equitable experience for all employees. On-demand modules also free up managers to focus on the more collaborative and team-building aspects of onboarding.
Self-recorded videos are a powerful way to build culture, as well. They can humanize topics that might feel dry in a document or powerpoint and help new hires get to know their colleagues by putting faces to names.
Take Action: Standardize one part of your employee onboarding process through asynchronous video. Start with a topic that applies to all new hires and helps demonstrate your culture, such as an explanation of company values or leadership principles. What other elements of your onboarding could you deliver asynchronously?
4. Optimize and scale training programs
Gone are the days of a one-size-fits-all approach to learning and development. Employees expect flexible training programs that they can access when, where, and on the devices that they prefer.
Asynchronous video empowers the learner to control their training experience, increasing access, engagement, and ultimately, learning outcomes.
For trainers, the ability to record simple, self-produced training videos allows for greater scalability. On-demand content also helps optimize training schedules and budget by reducing the need for travel or schedule alignment.
Take action: Record your training – it’s an essential first step to improving access and engagement. Next, identify one way to introduce greater flexibility into your next training initiative, such as recording introductory material as an asynchronous pre-watch. How does this impact your training schedule and budget?
5. Capture town halls and key leadership presentations
Clear, consistent corporate communication is essential to ensuring organization-wide cohesion in a hybrid working environment.
Recording important company updates as asynchronous videos not only helps leadership share the same message across multiple offices or countries, but also gives employees sufficient time to digest information and surface thoughtful questions.
Moreover, creating a library of past presentations helps keep both company leaders and employees accountable to organizational goals.
Take action: Divide your next company town hall into an asynchronous pre-watch and synchronous discussion. Record and circulate key announcements, then encourage employees to submit questions before the live meeting. What difference do you see in the volume of questions or the quality of discussion?
What is video conferencing for?
The 1 time to avoid asynchronous video
When urgent issues like a broken product or angry client arise, it’s best to use video conferencing to put out the fire. Asynchronous video delays communication by design, so when a time-sensitive problem arises you should always turn to real-time video conferencing to quickly brainstorm and problem-solve with your team.
Synchronous and asynchronous video are complements, not substitutes. Consider different methods for each of your communication needs. By balancing live video conferencing and recorded, on-demand video, you can power an engaging and productive working model that keeps your company competitive in an evolving business landscape.