Ring lights. Stretchy pants replacing trousers. Elaborate home coffee set-ups. Not to mention the Great Resignation, the Death of the City, and the birth of the Hybrid Office.
As we enter the third year of the COVID era, the idea of the workplace has fundamentally shifted, and changed a lot of how the future of society looks. Everything from how teams collaborate to how they socialize has been touched.
These changes have been discussed exhaustively in the business press, but––in my opinion––one facet of this transformation has been under-examined: the change in corporate video habits.
Recently the market research and analyst firm Wainhouse Research conducted a survey of 2,000+ individuals, giving a window into not only how video has changed today’s workplace, but how employees hope it will change things in the future. It’s a vision of how employees are finding new and productive ways to collaborate and communicate. One theme quickly emerges: as offices turn more temporary hybrid and remote solutions into full time changes, it’s time to start leveraging video more fully.
New Reasons to Turn to Video
No one will be shocked that video meetings are more common than they were pre-COVID, with 68% of respondents reporting higher rates. Companies have fully embraced webcasts for all kinds of use cases – HR initiatives, town halls, mass training sessions, and more. Now, over 50% of the surveyed organizations run a minimum of 50 webcasts a year.
But live broadcasts and video meetings are not the only use for video in a remote or hybrid workplace. Increasingly, asynchronous working patterns are normal. Here, too, video has also come to play a major role in individual, day-to-day productivity. Not everyone can join every meeting; that might be why 77% of the survey respondents find meeting recordings to be useful, allowing members of the group to catch up on their own time. Similarly, with coworkers no longer on the other side of the cubicle wall, just-in-time training has become more important than ever. The majority of employees (58%!) would rather watch a video than ask a coworker a question. On-demand video in general, from call recordings to training clips, is preferred.
These trends have not gone unnoticed by management: 63% of surveyed companies intend to increase spending on video technologies in 2022, with over half intending to spend at least $100,000. There is a growing awareness, in the corporate world, that a seamlessly remote future depends on archived video. Employees are producing and using it in ever-increasing numbers. What’s important going forward––as video becomes ever-more central to the modern workplace––is making the most of all the video content you’re accumulating.
Videos have always been rich sources of information––offering nuance and meaning in ways that other media can’t––but their mass adoption has been stymied by the difficulty of searching them: the majority of respondents to the Wainhouse survey (61%) agreed that searching video archives is a struggle. Manually-inserted content tags have been a slight help in this arena, but they can only get you so far––it is hard to predict exactly what someone might want to find in the future.
AI has been making huge strides in helping to address these issues, in the process fundamentally changing what a video is. One of the early steps was speech-to-text transcriptions, which produced data allowing in-video search, just as you would search within a document or email. But captions alone are not enough; today’s video AI can also surface text that appears onscreen during the video, the people who participated in a meeting, even sentiment analysis. Valuable information, from decisions reached in meetings to institutional knowledge, has been buried in the black box of video recordings. Now, with these advanced deep search capabilities, this information is fully accessible to employees. Unsurprisingly, a sizable majority (67%) of workers reported that they would use video archives more frequently if they could use specific search terms to find and retrieve relevant passages.
Better search is not the only way employees hope to improve the value of video. For example, chaptering makes video more navigable while recommendation engines can Netflix-ify your company’s video archive, and employees can instantly access critical information relevant to their job. 80% of employees would embrace automated “highlight reels” that could condense hour-long meetings into easily digestible clips, if the technology existed. Collectively, tools like these keep knowledge freely circulating within a company, fostering new ideas and drastically boosting productivity.
Granted, these are still early days: in the next few years, we’re sure to see an explosion in innovative uses for archived, searchable video. It’s time to get a sustainable strategy in place to turn the mounting piles of meeting recordings and webcast archives into assets you can actually use. The future of business is video––don’t fall behind.