Holding virtual meetings with your company's remotely located team is an effective way to collaborate on any number of ongoing projects. While there are many different ways that you can structure your meetings, one thing that you should think about is whether your employees should have their cameras on or off. Some people are tempted to keep their cameras off—this can especially be true of those who work in their pajamas or who seldom do their hair and makeup while working at home. It can be advantageous, however, for you to mandate a video-on policy for your virtual meetings. Here's why.
It Encourages People to Focus
When someone has their video camera on while taking part in a virtual meeting, they know that they need to look ahead at their screen and focus on the meeting. When someone's camera is off, they could be playing with their smartphone, browsing the internet, or otherwise doing something that prevents their full focus from being on the meeting that is taking place. When you're leading a virtual meeting, you want to be confident that everyone is paying just as much attention as they would if you were all gathered around a boardroom table in person. This is more likely if everyone's cameras are on.
It Allows Clearer Communication
When you're speaking in your virtual meeting, being able to see peoples' faces as they listen to you can help with clear communication. For example, if you discuss something and you see a few people frowning, this may suggest that your message seems a little unclear. Upon noticing peoples' reactions, you can quickly either ask repeat your concept in clearer terms or ask people if they have questions. If people were to have their cameras off, you'd miss out on their reactions—and this could mean that they leave the meeting feeling unclear about something you said.
It May Create a Stronger Connection
Working remotely has a few challenges, including the fact that your team may not feel overly connected because they rarely see each other in person. With everyone's cameras on, a stronger connection may be possible. Your employees who haven't actually met all of their colleagues in person will be able to put faces to names, and this may help them feel as though they "know" each other a little better. A team that has more connection may be stronger, which is ideal for the company.