The way we work is changing. With the
growth of technology, there is an increasing trend of people working remotely.
This has led to the growth of video conferencing as a way for remote teams to
communicate and collaborate.
But with this growth comes new challenges,
such as ensuring everyone has an equal voice in the conversation. This article
explores how video conference equity comes into focus amid hybrid work.
Why is it Important to Have an Equal Voice in Conference?
The rise of remote work has been a game-changer
for the way we do business. It's made it possible for businesses to tap into a
global talent pool and for employees to enjoy increased flexibility and freedom
regarding where they work.
However, this new way of working comes
with challenges–ensuring everyone has an equal voice in video conference calls.
This can be especially difficult in
hybrid work environments, where some team members are in the office, and others
are remote. It's crucial to find a way for everyone to feel like they are being
heard, regardless of their location.
Guarantee Everyone the
Same Opportunities to Speak
One way to promote equity in video
conferencing is to make sure everyone has the same opportunities to speak
during the call. This means giving everyone a fair amount of time to share
their ideas and assuring no one dominates the conversation.
There are a few factors to consider when trying to ensure everyone has the same opportunities to speak while using a video conferencing software.
- Time Zones: Take into account the
different time zones of your team members. If you have team members in
different parts of the world, be mindful that some may need to wake up earlier
or stay up later to participate in the call.
- Working Styles: Consider the different
working styles of your team members. Some people prefer to do most of their
talking at the beginning of the call, while others prefer to listen more and
only share their ideas when asked directly.
- Language Barriers: Be aware of any
potential language barriers. If there are team members who don't speak the same
language as the majority of the team, make sure to allow for extra time for
- Learning Styles: Be considerate of any
different learning styles. Some team members prefer visual aids, while others
prefer to hear things explained verbally. Try to accommodate both types of
learners during the call.
Guaranteeing everyone has the same
opportunities to speak can go a long way in helping everyone feel heard and
valued. It's essential to create an environment where everyone feels
comfortable speaking up, regardless of location or working style.
Use Visual Cues
It can also be helpful to use visual cues, such as raising hands, to signal when someone wants to speak. This way, everyone knows when it's their turn to contribute, and no one feels like they are being left out.
There are a few things to keep in mind
when using visual cues:
- Not Everyone is Comfortable with Being On Camera: Some people may prefer to turn their video off, or they may not have
a good internet connection and can only participate by audio. Make sure to take
this into account when using visual cues.
- Some People May Not Be Able to See the Screen: If team members are hard of sight or have vision impairments,
ensure they can see the visual cues.
- Be Mindful of Different Cultural Norms:
In some cultures, it may be impolite to interrupt someone speaking. In these
cases, it's essential to be aware of social etiquette and make sure everyone is
comfortable with how visual cues are used.
Visual cues are a great way to
guarantee everyone has an equal opportunity to speak during video conference calls.
It's essential to be aware of potential issues, such as cultural differences or
accessibility needs, and assure everyone is on the same page.
Use Breakout Rooms
Another way to promote equity in video
conference calls is to use breakout rooms. This feature allows you to split the
group into smaller subgroups so that everyone has a chance to participate in
There are a few things to keep in mind
when using breakout rooms.
- The Size of the Group: The larger the
group, the more likely it is that some people will feel left out. Try to keep
the groups small so that everyone has a chance to participate.
- The Topic of Conversation: If the topic
is something that everyone is passionate about, it may be best to split the
group into smaller subgroups so that each person has a chance to share their
- If There Are Controversial Opinions: If
team members have opposing opinions on a topic, it may be best to split them
into separate groups so they can have a productive conversation without
Using breakout rooms gives everyone a
chance to participate in the conversation. It's essential to consider the size
of the group and the topic of conversation when deciding whether or not to use
Certify Everyone is
Comfortable Using the Technology
Finally, it's essential to make sure
that everyone feels comfortable with the technology that you're using. This
includes making certain that everyone knows how to use the software's features
and understands video conferencing etiquette.
There are a few factors to consider
when ensuring everyone is comfortable using the technology.
- The Age of the Team Members: Younger
team members are generally more comfortable with technology than older team
members. However, this is not always the case, so it's essential to consider
the team's age when deciding which technology to use.
- The Technical Skill Level of the Team Members: Some team members may be more technically savvy than others. Make
sure that the software you're using is user-friendly and that everyone knows
how to use the features you need.
- The Location of the Team Members: If
team members are located in different time zones, it's crucial to consider the
time difference when scheduling video conference calls.
Guaranteeing everyone is comfortable
using the technology is vital in promoting equity in video conferencing. It's
essential to consider the team's age, technical skill level, and location when
deciding which technology to use.
These steps can help assure everyone
has an equal voice in video conference calls. This will create a more inclusive
environment for all and make sure no one feels left out or powerless.