How does a cloud whiteboard complement video conferencing? Find out how this seemingly simple collaboration tool makes a huge difference for remote teams.
How essential is cloud whiteboarding in a hybrid office setup? All you really need to communicate with remote team members and off-site workgroups are email, instant messaging, and a reliable video conferencing system, right? What does a web-based whiteboard offer that these tools don’t?
Cloud whiteboarding provides a mode of collaboration that cannot be matched by written and verbal communication alone. It’s interactivity—in the way that it lets you write, sketch, or add images on a blank slate—allows visual thinkers to process ideas and express themselves more efficiently, and helps learners grasp concepts more quickly. In terms of reviewing output, it’s also quick to check the summary of a discussion done on a cloud whiteboard than it is to watch a long unedited recording of a video conference.
While writing with a mouse may prove to have a steep learning curve, there are cloud whiteboarding solutions such as EZWrite that make it easy for meeting participants to scribble notes using their personal touchscreen devices like their smartphones and tablets. Having a cloud whiteboard ready allows teams to expand their video conferencing session into a fully collaborative remote working experience.
When applied to team sync ups, a cloud whiteboard can be used to increase engagement. The host can start off sessions with doodling activities or ice breakers that effectively convert attendees from passive listeners to hands-on contributors. The bulk of the sessions themselves can be done on a cloud whiteboard, with the host or other team members taking notes and inserting relevant images or slides as the discussion progresses. And since meeting attendees are focused on the elements being added and altered on the shared board, the host is able to catch their attention, reducing the chances of team members zoning out of a discussion—something that is fairly common when working within a hybrid setup.
Another advantage of cloud whiteboarding is how it allows two-way live editing and annotation. This is especially useful when presenting decks or project mock ups to remote clients. In case clients have any change requests, presenters can easily give them write access and allow them to make notes directly on the board. If, for example, they want a very specific part of a layout altered, they can simply circle it and write down what they want beside it. If they have visual aids in mind, they can even import those onto the board. If you were to hold this kind of presentation strictly over video conferencing with off-screen notetaking, client participation would be limited, and you run the risk of not being able to fully implement their requested modifications.