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Put video on the page to boost collaboration and engagement

Async video aids knowledge sharing while cutting back on meetings and screen fatigue

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Meeples giving real time feedback

Whether you’re wrangling a hybrid model or managing an enterprise with workers in far-flung offices, the situation is the same: Distributed teams aren’t going anywhere, and neither are the communication tools we use to connect people. But, if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that a day packed with video calls is a mind numbing way to work. Video conferencing tools may have saved us from our solitude when we first left our offices, but what will save us from video conferencing?

“Zoom fatigue” (whether actually on Zoom, or with Skype, Google Meet, or another platform) is an all-too-real phenomenon that’s been building to a head. Stanford University researchers even devised a Zoom Exhaustion and Fatigue Scale. Yes, video meetings connect us, but too many can negatively impact project collaboration and results. And you know you’re multitasking during calls. When engagement falters, productivity definitely takes a nosedive and innovation stalls. 

Cutting back on unnecessary meetings is a good start. Asynchronous project collaboration works! But sometimes you need to get off the page and back to human interaction. After all, tone of voice and non-verbal cues like facial expressions, gestures, and other body language are critical to getting your point across. But does the need for human interaction always default to a meeting?

Instead of all video or all text, try mixing the two.

We’ve become fans of all things hybrid, so how about hybrid communications? Instead of all video or all text, try mixing the two. Embed video right in your workspace to kickstart knowledge sharing. The result is the joy of fewer meetings combined with the magic of video, so you get smoother communication, stronger engagement, and ultimately more innovation. Let’s take a look at how to make the most of video for async project collaboration.

Embedded video = meet-less engagement

There’s a reason you fell down that YouTube rabbit hole and came out two hours later. Streaming video is just plain fun. So why not bring it to your business? When both text and video are available on the same topic on the same page, 59% of senior executives will choose video.

When both text and video are available on the same topic on the same page, 59% of senior executives will choose video.

Of course, there are still times when video conferencing is necessary. Think of a creative brainstorming session, a job interview, or a performance review. Any conversation that calls for back and forth should be done in real-time, either in person or on a platform like Zoom. At the other extreme, there are many times you can ditch the impulse to have a meeting and instead send a document, text, or email. But there’s plenty that falls in between. In those cases, embedding async video provides several benefits over video conferencing or written communications. You get:

  • the convenience of accessing video on their own time, which is especially important for distributed teams spanning time zones
  • the ability to show, rather than tell, such as a recorded live demo
  • a reference team members can go back to anytime (and pause, fast forward, and rewind to proceed at their own pace)
  • a way for busy executives to address teams across the organization without overloading their schedules or having to repeat themselves in multiple meetings.

And there are heaps of use cases.

When to embed

Here are a few opportunities to cut back on virtual or in-person meetings while using video to keep the human element. 

Quarterly business reviews

When team members write down all of the progress they’ve made in the last 90 days, so much detail can feel daunting. Go ahead and put it all in the Confluence executive business review template; then bring it to life and share your excitement with a high-level overview using embedded video. Stakeholders get a short rundown to watch and the nitty gritty details to read, and no one in APAC has to stay up past their bedtime for a meeting. Plus, you ensure that key information comes across with the same clarity you’d get when presenting in person.

Employee onboarding

New hires deserve a warm welcome, but a video call to each one from the CEO just isn’t scalable. They also might need an overview from someone knowledgeable on a certain topic. Start by listing your onboarding instructions in the Confluence 90-day plan template, and then add video messages as needed. It could be a greeting from the founder or an explanation of insurance from a benefits specialist – anything that adds a personal touch so employees feel a real connection to the organization, even if they’ve never set foot in the office.

Tech training and troubleshooting

Sometimes it takes a demo to make your words crystal clear, especially when a team member is getting up to speed on new software or trying to fix a tech issue. Confluence’s troubleshooting article template lets you share a video showing users what they will see on screen alongside a list of written instructions and links to other helpdesk resources. The text-and-video one-two punch should provide enough detail to cut down on support tickets and 1:1 help sessions with the tech team while helping staffers at various levels of tech prowess.

Strategic planning and pitches

Ready to present a strategic plan or pitch up the line at your org? When engaging busy executives, department heads, and maybe even board members, getting the right people in the room at once is easier said than done, even virtually. Presenting with the Confluence strategic plan template ensures that all stakeholders are involved since they can review the details when it’s convenient for them. Adding an embedded video intro or summary helps get everyone engaged and ensures that your enthusiasm comes across.

Just be sure to keep your videos short and to the point. Videos over two minutes in length start to see a significant drop in engagement. You don’t want to replace lengthy meetings with lengthy async video. The idea is to save time, after all!

How to add video to Confluence pages

Confluence allows you to add just about any type of video to your workspace. For any video on your computer, you can upload the file onto your page. If the video is online, you simply paste the URL as text. As a Smart Link, the URL will automatically display the icon of the video platform, letting readers know that the link will lead to a YouTube video, for example. If you leave the Smart Link as is, then the video will open when it’s clicked. Or you can embed the video directly in your page by clicking on the link while in edit mode and selecting “Display embed.”

screen shot of video embed template

You can embed a video directly in your page by clicking on a video Smart Link while in edit mode and selecting “Display embed.”

In addition, Confluence offers a number of integrations to simplify the whole process. For instance, the Loom integration has an easy-to-use Chrome Browser extension that allows you to record video without leaving your Confluence page. Other helpful integrations include Microsoft Stream for Confluence and the Advanced YouTube and Vimeo Integration. There’s even a Zoom Plugin for those times when meetings are unavoidable but you’d like to save the recordings for posterity (and for anyone who couldn’t attend).

No matter which way you do it, you’ll have the ability to adjust the size and positioning of the video frame in Confluence to work with your page layout.

Innovation as a distributed team

Async video allows team members to engage on their own terms and on their own time, fostering both human connection and productive knowledge sharing. It’s project collaboration rooted in human understanding so that teams can innovate from anywhere, which is exactly what we need right now – and always.

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