This new way of meeting comes with a string of benefits for both company and employee, but hinges on having the right equipment to ensure meetings remain fluid, dynamic, and productive.
Web conferencing software was arguably the single most important tool of 2020. It allowed countless businesses to continue operations through a highly challenging year, and in the process opened our eyes to new and exciting working possibilities. Most notably, that remote collaboration can not only be effective but also extremely beneficial.
But with this fast-growing and seemingly irreversible shift towards remote and hybrid work comes a new challenge: how to optimize traditional and home offices to effectively bridge the geographical gap between centralized offices and remote workers.
This article will look at how to choose a video conference monitor that best serves this purpose.
What is a Video Conferencing Monitor?
A video conferencing monitor is a monitor with integrated video conferencing capabilities that allow you to leverage the tools provided by web conferencing software like Pexip, SafeVchat, Skype, Zoom, and Google Hangouts.
VC monitors are the hardware through which you will conduct and attend meetings. The quality and functionality of the monitor have the potential to largely affect any meeting, so it is important to know exactly what to look for.
What Features Should You Consider When Choosing a VC Monitor?
When choosing a VC monitor, first consider the attributes that best contribute to meaningful collaboration. Factors such as a comfortable environment, the ability to see and hear team members clearly, the seamless sharing of ideas, and easy access to both your information and the information shared by others are all important. A quality monitor for video conferencing should replicate all these attributes within a virtual setting.
In this next section, we look at the most important features to pay attention to when choosing a VC monitor and how they impact the attributes listed above.
A large screen allows you to have multiple windows open simultaneously, giving you easy access to important information during meetings. For example, you could have Microsoft Teams, Excel, and PowerPoint all open at once on the same screen. This helps maintain the fluidity and momentum of meetings and eliminates those awkward pauses as you scroll through open tabs or wait for pages to load.
VC meetings are often more efficient than regular meetings as they rely heavily on a predetermined agenda. Having a large monitor will allow you to capitalize on this by having all the necessary information in front of you on one screen when the meeting begins.
Cameras are necessary for any VC setup; however, the positioning of the camera is key. A built-in camera that is located just above the screen ensures you are perfectly framed and helps create the feeling of eye contact while looking at your display.
A built-in camera also eliminates unwanted cable clutter and reduces setup time, which can otherwise lead to late or shaky starts. Punctuality in meetings improves workplace efficiency, so any features that can reduce setup time and eliminate potential complications are considered a plus.
A VC monitor with flexible positioning will allow you to sit comfortably throughout long meetings. It is important that you do not hunch over or strain your neck in any way as this can lead to prolonged injuries that may become worse over time.
A truly ergonomic monitor should be able to tilt, swivel, rotate, and adjust for height. Not only crucial to posture, flexible positioning of the monitor will also allow you to experiment with different desk arrangements and easily adjust the display when joined by colleagues or clients while still allowing you to maintain a professional appearance to those on the other side of the screen.
Refresh rate refers to the rate at which still images are displayed on the monitor in order to create the illusion of movement. Think of refresh rate like a flipbook – the faster you flick through the pages the more seamless the motion appears to be.
Refresh rate is measured in hertz (Hz), which is the number of times the display is refreshed per second. While 60Hz used to be considered a good starting point for monitors, it can potentially produce a flicker effect that may lead to eye strain. For VC purposes, 75Hz is a much better starting point for smoother scrolling and clearer video that is easy on the eye.
When ideas are being shared between multiple people (or even just two), audio can make or break a VC meeting. You need to hear each person clearly to keep the conversation fluid and let the momentum build. Using headphones is one potential solution but they can be restrictive.
Instead, look for a monitor that comes with integrated speakers that provide quality sound. This will once again eliminate unwanted cords and clutter from your workspace and reduce the cost of having to buy additional speakers.
The Benefits of Video Conferencing
Video conferencing is on the rise, and for good reason. Many employees are experiencing a better work/life balance through more flexible work arrangements, while companies are seeing an increase in productivity thanks to improved communication.
Here are just a few of the benefits already being seen:
- Less time and money spent on daily commuting.
- Better communication between global teams.
- Increased productivity through faster communication.
- Improved meeting efficiency through fixed start times and structured agendas.
- Increased attendance in the absence of geographical barriers.
- Improved work/life balance through more flexible schedules.
- Improved employee retention through favorable schedules.
- Less environmental impact through reduced ground and air travel.
Video conferencing is changing the way we meet and, in most cases, for the better. But improvement is actionable as you’ll still need to invest in the right equipment to make it work. But with the savings, efficiency, and competitive edge that video conferencing can bring to a company, it’s well worth the investment.
If you’re looking for a VC monitor with exceptional, out-of-the-box video conferencing capability, check out the Poly Studio P21 Personal Meeting Display.