Video calls are the new norm throughout most of the business world. Certainly during the first months of the pandemic they were a life-saver: business couldn’t have happened without them.
Now, as we shift to a more long-term remote and hybrid work environment, video calls are here to stay. They unlock all sorts of good for your business:
- Saves money on unnecessary travel
- Enables participation when people can’t be in the office (isolation, family care, recovery, etc.)
- Powers long-distance collaboration that wouldn’t otherwise be feasible
- Can be recorded and viewed later
- Allows users to share screen content, ensuring everyone’s on the same page
We could go on, but today’s focus is actually on a hidden cost associated with every video call, one that adds up over the year.
We’re talking about lost time.
The Time Loss Problem
Video calls enable so much, but they aren’t free. Every single time an employee gets on the video call, there’s some time loss involved.
New research shows that even among your youngest (and, ostensibly, most tech-savvy) employees, people are spending about 10 minutes per call getting set up and situated — and not doing any productive work.
If it’s 10 minutes among your digital natives, chances are that time loss grows among your older employees, too.
10 Minutes, Really?
Maybe that amount of time doesn’t seem right. But think about it: for your typical video call, a team member has to go through every single one of these steps:
- Calendar notification interrupts flow 15 minutes prior to meeting
- Find the link, room, button, or whatever other mechanism lets you in to the meeting
- Click on the meeting to find the agenda or other information telling you what the meeting’s about
- Make sure you have everything together for the meeting, including arranged in proper windows if you’re sharing your screen
- Make sure camera and microphone are plugged in, selected, and working
- Log onto the call a few minutes early (you don’t want to be late, right?)
- Sit there until 3 minutes past the start time for the one guy who’s late
- Endure a round or two of “can you hear me” and “hang on, something’s…”
Finally, at long last, the video call begins in earnest and productivity resumes.
To be fair, a few of those steps exist with in-person meetings. But they don’t add up in the same kinds of ways.
At first glance, 10 minutes doesn’t seem like much. But let’s say your employee attends just one meeting per weekday (that’s a pretty conservative estimate, right?): over the course of a year, that employee will spend 40 hours — one entire work week — getting set up for video calls.
Multiply that across your entire workforce, and those video calls are getting pretty expensive!
What You Can Do
As you look at those steps above, it might seem frustrating: a lot of that is out of your hands, right?
Not necessarily. With a few simple changes, you can cut down the wasted time by a significant degree. Try these tips:
- Include clear agendas with every video meeting invite
- Use one (and only one) video platform and send invites in a consistent way
- Integrate invites with your office calendar (Teams and Outlook do this very well)
- Hold remedial and reminder training sessions on how to use your chosen video app
But the most important thing of all? Make sure everyone has the tech they need. No or poor-quality headsets drastically reduce audio quality. Users without a working webcam may feel less able to fully participate. And suboptimal internet connections (or poorly configured Wi-Fi) can destroy call quality.
Need help implementing any of these suggestions? Let’s talk. Reach out today to learn how Blue Ridge Tech can improve your video call quality and productivity.