What to look out for when choosing a virtual meetings solution

Four vital criteria when choosing a virtual meetings solution

While email remains the most ubiquitous form of communication, with worldwide traffic set to hit 281.1 billion emails per day by the end of 2018, it isn’t the ‘be all and end all’ of office communiqué. Information can get lost, messages misinterpreted and deadlines missed. This doesn’t exactly make for a collaborative environment.

As workforces are becoming widely dispersed, with team members working together in the office, from home and across borders, virtual meeting solutions are recognised as an excellent way for people to connect and collaborate irrespective of where they work.

You may think that deploying a solution out-of-the-box is a quick and easy way to achieve greater collaboration within your organisation, but without the correct planning and management it’s a goal you’ll struggle to achieve.

To help you on your way, we’ve put together a list of what you need to watch out for when choosing a virtual meetings solution for your business.

1. Don’t deploy a solution that doesn’t fit

Checking that your organisation would benefit from a virtual meetings solution may sound like an obvious first step, yet many decision makers will fall into the trap of assuming that a problem needs fixing without talking to their colleagues first. Inevitably, this leads to them implementing something that is poorly received and may not solve anything.

Asking your teams how they communicate on an every-day basis, where they struggle and what they think can be improved, ensures that the solution complements your own bespoke needs. It also helps you build your business case by demonstrating the value it can bring to staff.

2. Keep users top of mind – now and in the future

Making your users’ lives easy must be the top priority of your project; after all, they will use the technology every day. Providing them with a solution that can be used across all their devices, permits them to share files, thoughts and ideas securely and ties into other systems they use in their everyday working lives, will help drive adoption as well as increase productivity and satisfaction.

As this is a solution you’ll look to keep for years to come, you should make sure that it will suit the needs of your future workforce, which will be made up of tech-savvy millennials to whom flexibility and workplace satisfaction are key drivers.

3. Take time to form your strategy

Without a uniform strategy, there’s always a danger that your staff will go away and choose their own tools. This problem can be amplified when different teams all pick different tools from each other; sharing knowledge across these teams becomes even more difficult as individuals will not be willing to use a different tool for every project they work on.

Forming a strategy that promotes collaboration, using a defined set of tools, will minimise the use of ‘shadow IT’ and encourage much greater user adoption.

4. Think beyond collaboration tools

While the tools you implement form an important part of your strategy, you also need to look at your culture and working environments.

Promoting a culture that encourages collaborative working may be something you already do, in which case it’s a matter of ‘tweaking’ it to encourage the use of your new tools. However, if this cultural shift is new, you should involve your staff throughout the process to make sure they’re aware of how the solution will change the way they work for the better.

Alongside this, it’s also key that your workspaces are kitted out to encourage collaborative working. Think about quiet areas and huddle spaces in the office, coupled with the right applications for remote and mobile workers.

Need some help deciding on a collaboration tool for your business? Download our best practice guide to choosing the best virtual meetings solution