Promoting a Video First Culture

The business world has become saturated with video conferencing tools, and this trend is set to continue as businesses adapt to the Covid-19 outbreak. A ‘video first’ culture is starting to dominate the digital marketplace – and from our perspective, it really helps to know how to embed this idea as a culture in your organisation. Damson Cloud’s Fintan Murphy shares some wisdom on the subject…

Before we dive into current trends in comms and the paradigm shift towards video calls, it helps to take a step back and examine what we really mean by a “video first culture”. Put simply, the world’s most prominent search engine encourages its employees to prioritise video calls as their means of communication, where possible. That is a culture which puts video at the top of the communications agenda, and the benefits of implementing this kind of culture are significant. 

Yes – video conferencing is witnessing an unstoppable rise, and many companies have visibly scrambled to arrange the right infrastructure for their staff. Whilst this may seem to be a recent development for many business leaders, Google have long advocated for a video-first culture.

A Video Culture; Or Lack of It

At Damson Cloud, we like to go on the assumption that meetings will be conducted via video calls – in our case a Google Meet. However, with many businesses we’ve seen call participants may have their video turned off – and that can possibly be due to a lack of video culture within that company. 

This is particularly confusing (and particularly frustrating) when you are involved in a conversation around buying a product from someone, for example. As a salesperson, why would you keep your face hidden? It makes no sense. The first interaction you have with a customer is one of the most important interactions that you will have, and being able to read social cues like facial expressions and body language is critical. If you can see the person you’re talking to, you’re far more likely to trust them and far more likely to purchase their product as a result.

When it comes to hidden camera feeds and video conferencing etiquette blunders, those problems can often be traced back to a company’s culture around video – or, indeed, a lack of it. After all – if an employee hasn’t been instructed to turn their camera feed on and if the benefits of keeping their feed turned on haven’t been shared with them, they will tend to keep it turned off. From our perspective, conversations with Google Partners always include video, and we have Google’s video first culture to thank for that. We’ve highlighted the benefits of this approach to our own customers, and in many cases we have taken those customers along with us on our video journey. 

Change Management in a Video First Culture

At Damson Cloud, we’re firm believers in the value of change management, and experience has taught us that you can’t merely drop new technology on your employees and expect it to be a roaring success. However, that’s not to say that the technology isn’t extremely important. Let’s look at standalone solutions like Zoom, for example, where they may be a couple of product licenses, meaning employees have to request the use of the license. This limitation alone really stands against a video first culture – employees can’t just jump into a call quickly and seamlessly.

The example of Zoom stands in stark contrast to Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), where Google Meet is actually included as part of its list of tools. It isn’t restricted in its use in the way products like Zoom are, and that is just a huge benefit if you want to promote a video-first culture in your business or organisation. And, whilst this may seem particularly relevant whilst we work from home during the pandemic, a video-first culture will also yield significant benefits for when we do eventually return to the office. But how?

Put simply, how your office is set up will really determine how much it lends itself to a video first culture. Businesses and organisations must therefore ensure that their meeting rooms are set up with video conferencing facilities. Fundamentally, video conferencing meetings must be made easily accessible, both in terms of using the product and the speed of joining meetings. This doesn’t just apply to meeting rooms – it also applies to smaller booths and desks where one-to-one video meetings may be possible. You also need to make sure that people have the right equipment, and that includes cameras, headsets and broadband. We call this the infrastructure element, and its extremely important. 

Moving towards a video first culture doesn’t take place overnight. However, if you invest the right amount of time and resources into getting your tools, training and culture right, you’ll soon see video becoming the preferred communications method for your business. We always like to go back to that point we made about going on that assumption that a call will be a video call, and normalising and prioritising video in this way will help it become pervasive and totally natural in your business or organisation. 

More About Damson Cloud

We hope you enjoyed this opinion piece from Damson this week, and we’d love to hear some of our followers’ thoughts on promoting a video first culture. What’s your take on video? How has your organisation utilised or underutilised the power of video? How has this changed with the impact of Covid-19? Let us know in the comments below and subscribe to our mailing list for more insights on changing the way we work!

As a longstanding member of the Google Cloud Partner program, Damson Cloud specialises in bringing people and ideas together through new ways of working. We champion change management and digital transformation using some of the internet’s most trusted solutions, including Google Workspace, Happeo and Jamboard. To find out more about our services, check out our library of tutorial videos or our blog.