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I know many on RC have discussed how they regularly incorporate video calls for standups and check-ins, so sharing this recent post by WEF stating that studies show generally taking the time and making the effort to speak directly (vs. relying on text-based exchanges) with colleagues apparently improves personal connections and boosts mental well-being which should in effect be better for your organization/company culture.

"People feel significantly more connected through voice-based media, but they have these fears about awkwardness that are pushing them towards text-based media," study co-author Amit Kumar, a McCombs School of Business assistant professor of marketing, told Science Daily.

At my company, we do regular group calls across responsibilities for work purposes. But frankly speaking, I've never thought about just calling a colleague to just catch up and or chit chat. However, according to other information cited by WEF, even prior to the increased WFH due to COVID, loneliness and lack of communication are cited as the leading challenges faced by those who engage in remote work.

And so pieces like this always make me wonder how much more personal touches I can add in my own company to ensure tighter bonds and personal well-beings of colleagues. But maybe for some people, less non-work related interactions are better? I do remember I tried to test a virtual office environment (Tandem) but found most people didn't want to be bothered with dealing with yet another tool that didn't really add to work productivity.


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    We have found remotion (https://www.remotion.com) to be a great tool for us in this respect. It enables short quick chats that can be work related or just general chit chat. I think itโ€™s analogous to the conversation you used to have across the desk when you were in the office.ย 

    ย 


    Worth checking out. :)

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      Remotion looks really cool. Just wondering whether you and your colleagues feel a bit of a tools overload? How do you incorporate Remotion along with all the other remote tools you use?

      Just a little curious as I get a bit irritated when I have to look at Slack, move to Zoom, then check mails, then document in Slite, use some of our CRMs, etc. I have some real resistance to add another tool to the midst.

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        Hi @karthik,

        Yeh its a good question. We implemented when we first went remote of covid so I guess it didn't feel like "another" tool because it was there from the start maybe?

        I think also a key difference between the other options you've mentioned is it does status really well. Such that if you don't want to be interrupted because you're focussing, it clearly shows that to others & you can't be bothered. Where as if you're up for a chat, people can just click & start talking to you immediately.

        Definitely some folks use it more, and others less, but if we're referencing the pie chart in the OP those who struggle more with "Loneliness", or "Communication & Collaboration" I think are more likely to engage with this tool. It takes the formality (e.g having to pre-arrange time to talk, or ask "hey can we have a call") out of the equation which feels more natural.

        Hope that answers the question for you. :)

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          Just wondering whether you and your colleagues feel a bit of a tools overload

          ^ this was exactly the response I got when we tried Tandem for a bit so hesitant to repeat this again without a stronger buy-in

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            Tool switching can be a major distraction and time waster. That's why we built nucleus to create a centralized communication hub with meetings, messages, tasks and notes all in one place!

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          Interesting article, thanks for sharing Justin.

          I think there are 2 distinct parts to this - 1) Talking about work and 2) generally checking in how someone is doing. For 1), I feel written communication should be the default and we should consciously evaluate if a call is needed every time you or someone else asks to schedule one. I have been trying to follow this approach for some time now. For 2), I agree that voice or video is the best form of communication, in fact, such chats should never happen on text. But I also feel these conversations don't happen as often as needed, on text, voice or video combined.

          Just this Saturday, we were discussing how we can create more touchpoints/calls to generally bond. On the other hand, few days back, I was wondering if we actually need a video call every single day for our standup.

          The examples shared in the WEF article also seem to align with point 2 i.e. generally bonding vs. talking about work status/updates.

          P.S: I am making a list of things/activities we can do together as a team with the primary purpose of bonding and put structure around it. Trying to solve this problem more scientifically than relying on best effort basis. I will surely share my experience :)

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            Good distinction between the roles and applicabilities of the different types of communication, @hrishikesh ๐Ÿ‘Œ Definitely makes sense, at least to me.

            I know for sure on my side that I by default rely on text-based methods for most communication outside of family and friends. So I'm not fully sure yet how I'd incorporate calls/voice-based tools into my work-related communications. Definitely keen to learn more about your experiments and their potential payoffs. โš—๐Ÿ”ฌ

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              Same here, I default to writing for any work communication. The most prominent use of video/voice I do for work-related conversations is through Loom. But I don't think that would count towards the point of the article.

              Absolutely, will write more on how things pan out ๐Ÿ™Œ

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            We are diving into this issue - trying to uncover if the use of async short video can help address issues around both loneliness and collaboration/communication. I would love to hear this communities thoughts on https://voodle.com and similar platforms. We think about it as "async facetime". Feedback?

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              This is really cool! I especially liked the #meetmypet portion on the website. Seems like a fun way to get to know more about my colleagues.

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                Thanks @lucaswagner! Would love for you to try voodle for free with your team and let us know what you think!!

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              I came across a study that says remote workers develop weaker relationships with their colleagues when compared to in-office workers. Socializing and bonding are crucial for remote teams as it builds a sense of trust and inclusion.ย 

              Also, I find events structured around an activity work to be more engaging as it gives everyone something to focus on, and people can get easily involved rather than just holding big group video calls.

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                Async short video for culture
                This is a great discussion. I wanted to share a case study we did where a team used async short video to maintain culture and human connection. Would love feedback! https://vimeo.com/457526652/d72467f972