At this point, most of us have mastered the basics of video conferencing: we know how to turn ourselves off mute, activate our cameras, and share our screens. Many of us have even experienced hybrid meetings that feel almost as good as being in person, often with the aid of innovative technology like immersive video-conferencing solutions and high-fidelity microphones. But there are still some issues that can snap us out of an engaging hybrid meeting and make that gap between remote and in-office workers feel even wider. 

One of the primary concerns surrounding the increasing use of video conferencing in the hybrid workplace is the loss of that feeling of connection we get when speaking with someone in person. Recent studies have shown that this connection is not a result of physical distance, but is more closely tied to sharing eye contact when communicating. That means that a truly inclusive hybrid meeting must provide ways for remote and in-person attendees to look at each other when they are talking if they want to replicate a natural conversation. 

Nonverbal communication 

No one likes catching a glimpse of their video in a meeting and realizing that their camera is at a bad angle. Not to mention, it’s unsettling to talk to someone remotely when you are looking at the side of their head. As it turns out, capturing the right camera angle is important for more than just maintaining a healthy ego. Nonverbal communication is an integral part of human interaction, but it has become difficult to come by for many remote workers. 

Whether it’s poor video quality, side-view due to questionable camera angles and multiple screens, or a room that hasn’t been properly equipped for hybrid meetings, there is often a decided lack of face-to-face communication during hybrid meetings. Not providing meeting attendees with the opportunity to look each other in the eye is more than just awkward, it makes for less effective meetings. 

Since hybrid work isn’t going anywhere, organizations need to invest in technology that gives their employees opportunities to make those nonverbal connections with each other, even if they can’t be in the same room. 

Tech that enhances human connection

A simple video-conferencing camera is not enough to make hybrid meetings more inclusive and immersive for everyone. Having to constantly adjust a camera angle, or shift where you’re sitting to stay in the frame are all actions that can pull someone out of the moment. That’s why smart multi-camera solutions that utilize AI to frame the faces of attendees are so important to the success of the hybrid work model. 

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Owl Labs’ latest product, the newly-released Owl Bar,  an all-in-one front-of-room 4K video bar, is making awkward camera angles and hard-to-see speakers problems of the past. 

The Owl Bar can work alone but shines brightest when it’s connected to the award-winning Meeting Owl with our Owl Intelligence System software. By having smart devices in the front and center of a meeting room, participants don’t need to change the way they’re sitting or looking to experience more face-to-face conversations. The result is more natural hybrid meeting experiences that provide attendees with that crucial nonverbal feedback, even when they aren’t in the same room together. 

Whether you are a teacher optimizing a classroom for hybrid learning, an employer outfitting conference rooms for hybrid meetings, or a healthcare professional looking for better ways to remotely communicate with patients, Owl Labs has the products you need to transform any space into a naturally immersive hybrid experience. 

The future of hybrid work

The way people work has fundamentally changed. The need to connect with each other has not. Innovative technology like multi-camera video conferencing solutions are the tools that organizations need to help everyone bridge the gap between those two truths. 

Look good from every angle, so you can focus on the task at hand. Shop the Owl Bar today. 

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