How do visual guides promote remote work productivity?
When information is presented graphically, most people understand it faster and better. Emojis, GIFs, screenshots, and videos have become commonplace in daily conversation. It's also true at work.
It used to be true when most of us worked in typical office settings, and it still is now when so many of us work in remote or hybrid teams. As a result, it's even more critical for businesses to embrace graphics and video. Why do so many companies rely on lengthy emails and endless Zoom calls to communicate remotely?
"That's how we've always done it, and it works perfectly!" is the simple answer for most firms, CEOs, and managers. But here's the thing: what worked yesterday may not work today — especially when there are more effective alternatives.
Companies that are sluggish to innovate or upgrade their procedures will fall behind. Finding new and better ways to engage online with coworkers requires hybrid work, and graphics and video are essential for efficient workplace communication (whether remote or in-person). Companies may find it challenging to communicate with their remote teams, especially when employees haven't had enough time to adjust to the new work environment.
The personal connection that occurs when teams share a space vanishes. This opens the door to misunderstandings and disinformation. While team chat platforms and emails are popular right now, visual communication is another approach to keep distant employees on the same page.
An image may convey a thousand words concisely and timely—40 percent of consumers prefer pictures to text. This is why teams forced to work remotely should use more visual communication to keep in contact.
We understand. Change is difficult. You have a lot on your plate. Your team is jam-packed. And learning to create photos and videos (especially if you've never done it before) can be intimidating.
But what if making professional-quality images and movies to communicate was more straightforward in many circumstances than typing out a long and dull email?
Yes, it is!
And best of all, asynchronous communication is suitable for your business and people. You'll be more productive, make fewer errors, and avoid feedback loops.
Furthermore, your personnel will be more engaged than they have ever been.
Many corporations and universities have urged their workers to work remotely due to the uncertainties posed by Covid-19. As more than 25% of the US workforce already works from home at least part of the time, the new restrictions will force many employees - and their supervisors - to work out of the office for the first time, separating them from one another.
Although it is generally better to set clear remote-work policies and training in advance, this level of preparation may not be possible in times of crisis or other rapidly changing conditions. Fortunately, even when managers have limited time to prepare, there are specific, research-based activities that managers can take without much effort to boost the engagement and productivity of remote employees.
Let us explore ways to use visual guides to our advantage
1. Video can be used to replace meetings
Purely informational meetings shouldn't necessitate everyone being present simultaneously, even if that location is virtual. Replace an appointment with a video if you have the knowledge to share with your team that doesn't require quick input or brainstorming.
Meetings are no longer necessary. You can write exactly what you want to say and share it with others without interruption or have conversations veer off track.
Use various alternatives to record your screen as you narrate if you have slides to present. There aren't any slides? It's no problem. Snagit can record your webcam to add a more personal touch to your video. Do you have a brainstorming session planned?
Furnish them with all the information they'll require BEFORE the meeting to come up with ideas rather than coming up with them on the spot. This method of presentation is more considerate of your team's time. If they don't need to know the material right now, they can watch the film at their leisure. They can always go back and view it again if they need a refresher.
Plus, they can come to you directly if you need comments or if they have questions.
Meetings that would ordinarily last an hour can be shortened to a 20-minute (or less) video, according to our experience. That's a significant amount of time saved!
2. Allow for visual feedback
Because you're probably doing something similar, this is one of the most excellent methods to get started using images in the office and remote interactions.
Almost everyone has had to proofread and revise a document written by someone else. We print it out, take out our red pen, and write notes on the printed pages where the suggested adjustments should be made.
3. Make content for onboarding and specialized training that is evergreen
New hires should be given the tools and information to succeed in their new positions. Face-to-face training is challenging to come by in a remote situation, but creating video and visual training content can go a long way toward putting them on the right track.
Graphical and video content makes sense for everything from first-day training to continuous staff development.
4. Content for onboarding and training
It's handy for learning how to use HR systems or get onto the network. You can even construct a small video answering four (or six, or ten) of new hires' most common questions. It's also entirely scalable. Your how-to guides, task aids, and short training videos can be used by one, 100, 1,000, or more employees.
This makes more sense even for tiny businesses. Even when you're not training, your training content can help you. You'll be able to spend less time away from your job and more time on other projects. Adopting a robust knowledge management system that contains LMS as one of its modules can help here.
5. Provide peer-to-peer training and assistance (aka social learning or informal training)
Even if we don't consider ourselves trainers, most of us have had to demonstrate how to do something in our professional lives.
It may be anything from demonstrating how to include an out-of-office message into an email to adjusting the microphone settings in a virtual meeting application.
Create a brief screencast video showing the process instead of going into a Zoom meeting whenever someone wants assistance. Alternatively, take a few screenshots and create a step-by-step guide. In contrast to words, visuals elicit a stronger reaction. They encourage users to interact with the content, and emotional responses impact information retention. Because visual memory is stored in the brain's medial temporal lobe, where emotions are analyzed, emotions are also held there.
Visual inputs and emotional responses are easily linked in the brain, and the two combine to produce memories. Negative visual depictions are especially effective in eliciting strong emotional reactions.
When course authors use visual metaphors, even abstract subjects can benefit from visuals. Visual metaphors are used in their eLearning course to assist students in communicating feelings and elicit a similar emotional reaction.
You'll save time in your day and provide a valuable reference for your coworkers when they need a refresher.
6. Quickly respond to technical questions
Creating how-tos and job aids for your IT staff's most commonly asked queries can save time and effort. Then, when a request comes in, they are prepared with an answer.
Visuals and videos will also help with more complex or uncommon questions. When a user has a problem or a request, your IT team can take screenshots of where to go (how to resolve) and what to do to resolve the issue. Alternatively, create a screencast video that walks you through various alternatives or possible repairs. Both technical and customer support are available.
This also works for your users! Did anyone get a strange new error message all of a sudden? One can take a screenshot and email it to their IT department. They'll figure out what's wrong and get it fixed and back to working condition.
Alternatively, if a software application keeps crashing, make a screen recording of the actions you take before the incident to aid your IT personnel in identifying and resolving the issue.
7. For Remote Teams: A Playbook
Everyone has had to make the transition to remote working quickly. As a result, comprehending the steps that must be followed can be difficult.
You can write a playbook describing the following to assuage your employees' fears:
- Which tools will you employ?
- What will the communication mechanisms be like?
- When and how can members of the team be contacted?
A playbook is a beautiful tool for ensuring that everyone in the company is on the same page and working together. They're text-heavy, but there's also room for graphics and icons.
This improves readability since you may bring the eye to more important places in the paper by using icons. And here's an unexpected benefit of creating a playbook: It can be posted on your blog, as a white paper for lead generation, or as viral content.
The majority of businesses are in the same boat as you. They are unsure how to adjust to remote working and seek advice from others.
8. Design presentations
It's crucial to keep everyone in touch when you're in charge of a remote team, so you'll spend a lot of time in video meetings.
Though video conferencing helps view your coworkers, it isn't always effective in communication. For one thing, you still need to explain a lot to make your argument.
Then there's the issue of lag and people skipping out on calls, leading vital messages to being missed.
To avoid these issues, create presentations around a particular topic, as shown in the example below.
For the audience, a strong presentation should provide the following information:
- What you're referring to
- Why is it significant?
- What should be done in response?
- The team's next steps
You'll find yourself using presentations for a variety of reasons, including:
- Prospecting for clients
- Predictions for the coming quarter
- Idea generation for content
- Management of a project
- Knowledge sharing
While communicating with a remote team, it is essential to remember that everyone is working from home, with all the distractions. As a result, keep your presentations simple. Make sure to include:
- Simple and appealing backdrops
- Images from free stock picture sites like Unsplash Icons that are relevant.
- Graphs and charts
- Avoid using unnecessary text on your slides. You are still reliant on the Internet, which can lag, no matter what technology you use to present.
As a result, avoid taking any additional risks and make your presentation brief and sweet. This ensures that your communication gets received and acted upon.
In today's world, visual content dominates all aspects of life, and we are living in the age of visual information. Graphics are essential for engaging students in eLearning courses because 65 percent of the population is visual learners. It's also worth noting that if graphics are employed incorrectly, they might have a negative impact on learning. When off-topic pictures show on the screen, such as purely ornamental ones, learners will subconsciously try to figure out the meaning and explanation behind them.
When done correctly, visuals can be more understandable than text-based explanations or audio recordings since they break information down into smaller, easier-to-process bits. Anyone can easily relate emotions to pictures, making your eLearning courses more engaging and memorable. Visuals help people absorb content because they are digested 60000 times faster than text, so you should use them to communicate with distant teams.
Use clear and relevant graphics to give your messaging context and avoid misunderstandings. By doing so, everyone will be on the same page and on track to reach their objectives. Above all, visual communication will keep distant workers connected to the organization.
That is the most effective strategy to ensure that you emerge as a unified team from this circumstance.