Regus research shows that over half of employees globally work out of the office 2.5 days a week or more – a number that's even higher in Brazil and Mexico, at over 60%.
That's great for productivity and work-life balance, but in large companies with teams more geographically dispersed away from the main office, this means there are going to be more remote meetings – often by video conference.
Can video conferences be productive?
This might provoke a mixed reaction among your team. On the one hand, it's great to be able to join in wherever you are, but on the other, video conferences can be unproductive if not done correctly. A study by IBOPE Zogby International shows that around 23% of a conference call is taken up by distractions. That's why it's important to make sure you're keeping everyone as productive as possible – and that involves recognising their strengths.
The 'who's who' of video conferences
Psychologists have identified several major personality types among workers – here are the ones you'll come across the most, and how to get the best out of them on a video conference call.
- Leader/ Dominator – the one who tends to take charge. This is great for keeping conferences on track, but make use of visual cues or put group feedback time on the agenda to make sure everyone still gets to contribute.
- Thinker/ Shrinker – a quieter member of the team. They'll often have good solutions, but don't forget to invite them to participate, as they might not volunteer themselves.
- Energiser/ Distracter – they keep the call running at pace, but make sure they're not multi-tasking or checking their emails at the same time. Get them to focus their ability to work at speed on the project at hand.
- Friendly/ Talk-a-lot – you can rely on them to be happy to volunteer their opinions, but make sure they're not talking over anyone else.
- Grounded/ Obstructive – a very realistic member of the team, they're perfect for grounding high-flying ideas with pragmatism. That said, they sometimes tend to get stuck on the same point, so make sure the leader moves them on.
- Creative/Impractical – they think outside the box and come up with novel solutions, but ensure they're still grounded in the realm of possibility.
By recognising the strengths of each of your team members, you can help everyone perform to their best – and make sure you’re getting the most out of your calls.