Animation, augmented reality and apps have been growing in importance in the corporate world in recent years. With the introduction of work from home policies forced on companies in response to the coronavirus pandemic, visual communication takes on greater importance to engage employees.
The pandemic has redefined the way teams communicate and work. Slack report that productivity and communication are affected when employees have to work from home. Engagement takes a hit too. Maintaining business operations has to be your number one priority, of course, but keeping your employees engaged should be second on the list. It is believed that companies that communicate effectively are 4.5x more like to retain their top talent.
Communication is crucial. Keeping a remote team engaged and functioning productively requires the right digital tools and excellent management skills. To help employees maintain acceptable levels of productivity, they need cognitive stimulation. Visuals have been shown to improve moods and serve as a positive stimulus for the brain.
Animation Improves Internal Communication
Incorporating animation and augmented reality can transform internal communications. Replacing traditional methods of messaging with animated visuals distributed via apps, email and the intranet can increase engagement and boost staff morale.
The positive effects visuals give communication speak for themselves:
- Visuals help employees absorb information quickly
- Animation is more expressive than written email or messaging apps
- AR and animation are a welcome breaks from long threads of text
- Video messages encourage more employees to engage with communication and receive more positive feedback
Animation and AR offer even more benefits because of their versatility and ability to hold attention. As a communication tool, cartoons are practically limitless.
Add Augmented Reality in Zoom & Teams Calls
Tech companies have recognised teams talks through Zoom and Microsoft Teams needed an extra dynamic during the pandemic. The solution was to allow users to change custom backgrounds that transform your kitchen into a plush meeting room or a beach. You may want to add more pizzaz and disappear in a cloud of smoke at the end of the meeting.
For most people, the extra features offered by Zoom and Microsoft won’t cut it. The AR features on Facebook Messenger, on the other hand, nailed fun! Turn yourself into a cartoon bunny for a team meeting. Hilarious! With a wide choice of characters to choose from your team meetings can reimagine the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.
Augmented reality is not suitable for all types of meetings, however. They help to boost team morale but can be distracting. Funny bunnies are not a practical solution when your team has to take work seriously. However, the shortfalls with AR are rectified by animation. Replacing humans with a cartoon character provides a dynamic solution. Animation makes a powerful impact, communicates all types of messages, helps people recall information and encourages employees to engage with content.
Distributing important communication to a remote workforce is practically impossible for larger companies. If your staff is not engaging with the wordy CEO quarterly sent out by email, you risk failing to get your message across.
In the past, “Town Hall Meetings” were called to give senior management the opportunity to address the entire company personally. Meeting en masse can help employees get a better understanding of your key business goals, the vision of C-suite executives and the challenges that lay ahead.
Beaming Town Hall speeches into the homes of your employees via satellite is probably not going to have the same motivational result though. The likelihood of everybody watching it all the way through is slim.
Animated video captures attention. They transport viewers to a magical world and cartoon characters have an uncanny knack of filling dry messages with a burst of colour. You can also throw in humour to help convey your message. When employees watch animated videos, they focus more on the visuals than what is being said. It is the visuals that engage.
However, research shows that visuals create faster and stronger reactions in neural networks which enables the brain to retain more information and recall it quicker.
In other words, visual help get your message over in a fun and engaging way.
Chat and video conferencing do not engage employees. If anything, virtual meetings make people feel more distant and cut off. Yet Gartner predicts that employees that want greater flexibility will demand work from home rights.
Case studies have shown that animation in remote training environments garnered better results than comparative training that did not use AR. Researchers found that people that find concentrating difficult were less distracted when using AR technologies.
The same rule could be applied to team meetings. Given animation and AR improves communication there is reason to expect them to transform team meetings, training and virtual work environments in general. When you have an important message to get over, people listen to cartoon characters.