While many employees and employers feel hesitant about the transition to full-time remote work, those in the gaming community feel that it’s their moment! Gamers are more than ready to interact with their coworkers online because they already use the internet to keep in touch and spend time with their friends. Below are five ways to translate that experience to the workplace environment.
1. Get Camera Friendly
Gamers often share their cameras with each other to add a more personal social element to the game, and when you look at the research, it’s no surprise why. Body language accounts for about 55 percent of communication cues. You may not love the idea of being on camera for everyone to see. However, this is an extremely important part of virtual communication – being able to see each other’s faces adds a social element that can make everyone more comfortable. You get to read nonverbal cues. You can see each other smile and laugh when someone cracks a joke. And perhaps the most helpful benefit, you can tell when someone else is going to start talking and be less likely to interrupt a coworker mid-meeting.
2. Use the Almighty Mute
Because it’s a more casual environment, gamers have no trouble calling each other out for obnoxiously loud background noises – chewing, typing, your neighbor’s lawn mower – a mic magnifies every noise it can. These sounds are not only annoying for the listener on the other end, sometimes they can be deafening! If you’re not the main speaker, put yourself on mute. If you’re having a quick snack, or sipping your coffee, press that mute button! It just takes a second, but it benefits everyone in the call.
3. Gear Up
Before I started gaming, I didn’t understand why it would matter to have certain headphones, or specific computer requirements, but it makes a huge difference! Having clear audio and video is especially important in remote work because those are going to be your main modes of communication for meetings. Even if the audio quality is great, having poor video quality can be distracting to coworkers, especially if they are visually driven people. There are specific headsets and attachable webcams made for professional situations that you could look into providing, or requesting, for employees if this is an issue for your company.
4. Chat It Up
Many of the platforms that gamers use for communication are now being used professionally by remote workers. If you’re new to remote work and needing help with your company’s new forms of communication, ask your closest gamer friend! Even if they aren’t familiar with the specific platform you’re using, they will likely be able to understand it quickly because they are used to similar software. One of the best features of these platforms is setting up channels to facilitate persistent chat. The channel is there for you to check in with your coworker any time that topic comes up, saving you time on meetings and the stress of wondering whether they got your e-mail.
5. Prepare for Personalization
Gamers love to personalize everything from their keyboards to the screens. Almost all communication platforms that have video chatting features now also allow you to personalize your background, taking your everyday meetings from drab to fab! To really bring the gamification, host a competition every Friday to see who has the best video backgrounds. This will have your employees looking forward to their meetings instead of dreading them.
Work meetings may not be quite as fun as a Friday game night, but these small differences can make your virtual meetings more enjoyable for everyone.