February 17, 2023

JuiceIT Guest Blog | How video conferencing protects confidential communication, elevates work flow and improves user experience

Kristy Leclerc
VC Marketing Manager (ANZ) at Logitech
The shape of the modern workforce is changing. However, fundamental business principles pertaining to government and council operations remain the same. As such, any solution used to modernise these organisations will need to be complete with strategies to account for these principles.

However, as these principles range from confidential communication and secure record keeping to efficient and effective employee operations, finding such a solution can prove challenging.

With the help of video conferencing technology, these principles are not only protected but execution of them is also improved. Resulting in organisations within the government and council sectors operating at heightened levels. All while ensuring that the business enterprise keeps in touch with the wants and needs of everyday individuals.

Reliable and streamlined communication

At the heart of government and council operations is a connected team that can communicate and collaborate with ease. In the modern workforce, there are some undeniable roadblocks to this level of connection. Namely, the introduction of remote work.

Where employees could easily occupy meeting rooms, have water cooler chats or approach a colleague at their desk, this isn’t so seamless nowadays. This is largely because at any one time employees may be working from home, working in the office or operating flexibly.

At the heart of these workplace arrangements are locational limitations. However, just because communication has become seemingly harder doesn’t mean that project deadlines, meetings and customer interactions cease to exist.

As such, solutions are needed to ensure that workplaces can navigate this new normal, all while adhering to the fundamental principles of business. Video conferencing technology is one such solution.

Providing a platform for workers to seamlessly communicate and collaborate, video conferencing technology facilitates reliable and streamlined communication. All thanks to features such as screen sharing and real-time messaging, to name a few.

This advanced technological solution provides high quality audio and visuals to ensure productive meetings. Whether these meetings are held between colleagues or involve other key stakeholders.

By providing a seamless meeting platform that can be used with an array of different devices, there are no barriers to communication. Not even in the modern workplace where the workforce may be spread out geographically.

Accurate and consistent records

Whether dealing with clients or customers, accurate and consistent record keeping is paramount in the government and council sectors. Without this level of record keeping, project deadlines can come and go and key pieces of information may be omitted.

To safeguard against these unsatisfactory outcomes, video conferencing technology offers the ability to record meetings. This instigates a multitude of benefits. Firstly, for remote workers, it means that there is a record of conversations that they might not have necessarily been privy to otherwise.

Secondly, for entire project teams, these recordings act as a record of what has been agreed upon. This could outline the way forward for projects. Amendments that need to be made to presentations. It could even stipulate new operating guidelines. As such, these records work to ensure that employees are all on the same page.

Improving inclusivity and meeting equity

In traditional meeting room setups, the user experience can vary greatly amongst participating individuals. This is because there is a typical hierarchy present in traditional meeting rooms. Largely dictated by seating arrangement, this hierarchy influences who speaks and at what frequency.

As people in positions of power generally occupy these key seats, the meeting can feel more like a lecture and less like a positive and collaborative experience. All of which works to hinder engagement levels.

Further characteristics such as gender, race, physical ability, seniority, experience levels and personality are also contributing factors. As such, they have an influence on meeting room dynamics.

While meeting dynamics might feel like a secondary consideration, there is a link between employees who feel respected and engaged performing more efficiently and effectively. This behaviour includes everything from improved productivity to a willingness to learn and lead.

Additionally, when given a platform to freely speak, share ideas and collaborate with others, employees feel valued and trusted. All of which provides the foundation employees need to work autonomously.

On the other hand, when some employees feel limited and disengaged, it’s easy for a divide to emerge. With communication and collaboration at the heart of effective government and council operations, this divide can negatively impact operational efficiencies.

As a meeting asset, video conferencing technology actively works to level the playing field, all while providing a platform for meeting equity to develop. By facilitating a dispersed workforce, no longer do employees need to be concentrated in one workspace.

This has the effect of taking away both implicit and explicit power dynamics. With workers taking up their own section of the screen when meeting via video conferencing, traditional power dynamics are subverted.

This in turn provides an opportunity for a multitude of different voices to contribute to the conversations taking place in the meeting. In essence, meeting equity is achieved. Largely because every person in the meeting feels like they have an equal opportunity to contribute.

Giving a voice to people who previously felt disengaged during meetings of a more traditional nature not only has the ability to increase productivity levels, but also, cultivate a positive culture. Something that is essential in a modern workplace that employs flexible working arrangements.

Secure meeting best practices and tips

Some of the key principles of government and council operations are security and confidential communication. In light of cyber attacks, this is largely why some managerial staff are reluctant to move operations digitally.

However, when video conferencing, there are a myriad of ways that individual participants and meeting hosts can employ best practices. This way, there are a multitude of different safety levels present in any and every meeting, no matter the content being discussed.

Tips for meeting hosts

To ensure that meetings are secure, the best place to start is by creating a meeting ID and password for every meeting. A unique meeting ID will make it hard for intruders or malicious actors to find your meeting.

Additionally, a password will provide two levels of protection. Firstly, a strong and unique password crafted using a combination of letters and numbers will be difficult to guess. Secondly, a password enabled meeting means that outsiders can’t gain easy meeting entry.

After the creation of the meeting ID and password, it can be tempting for meeting hosts to widely disseminate this information, along with the meeting link. However, it’s important when sending this link to exercise caution. As such, only send through channels such as email.

On the day of the meeting, there are additional security steps organisers can employ. For example, setting up a waiting room. This means that, as the organiser, you have control over who is admitted into the meeting.

Once all the invited parties have logged on, it’s also a good idea to lock the meeting. This is simply an additional step that can be used to protect against unwanted parties listening in or accessing confidential information.

Another secure meeting practice is to limit screen sharing. This way, no unwanted party can take control of your meeting. While screen sharing may be limited, it can always be turned on manually should a meeting participant need to share their screen for a presentation.

Finally, one of the key benefits of video conferencing technology is the ability to record meetings. However, despite your best meeting practices, these recordings may be accessed by malicious intruders.

To prevent this, end-to-end encryption is paramount. This is because encryption software will work to protect sensitive corporate information. In short, the kind of information that hackers target.

To ensure that meeting data cannot be easily read by hackers, employ password-protection encryption. This essentially renders any data unreadable by third parties unless they have the right password.

Tips for meeting participants

As a meeting participant, safety tips generally revolve around not sharing meeting room IDs and passwords. However, there is also a key thing participants can do to ensure a heightened level of meeting security.

Namely, keeping their software up to date and patched. When updating software, the most important thing to do is to make sure that the update is certified. This way, you can be assured that the update involves fixes to bugs and increased security measures.

How video conferencing securely improves government and council operations

One of the key operating principles in government and council is the notion of secure and confidential communication. Yet, in the age of remote working arrangements and increased technology implementation, this principle is seemingly harder to meet than ever before.

As such, it can be tempting to continue with traditional operations. However, this means that other key principles of government and council operations such as record keeping and even efficient and effective employee operations become impacted.

Rather than losing the trust of key stakeholders and hindering operational efficiencies, video conferencing technology provides wide ranging solutions. Especially to those operating within government and council business environments.

Offering streamlined communications and the ability to implement security measures for meetings, Logitech VC can provide best in class video conferencing solutions. Ensuring that operations are both secure and efficient in the modern workplace.

For more advice on managing modern video conferencing from Logitech, attend their upcoming presentation at JuiceIT 2023, ‘Designing Digital Workspaces’.