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Less Video, More Action - How Automatic Check-ins Benefit Your Team

April 7, 2020

Remote Working, Team Management

Is your day becoming a never-ending series of Virtual Meetings? 

Video calls should be the last resort, not the first option.

The third week of March showed that video-conferencing apps had gained a whopping 62 million downloads due to the worldwide lockdown that’s recently occurred. 

Video-conferencing apps, such as Zoom, Skype, Hangouts, are great for replicating the desired need for face-to-face communication which we currently lack. Video-conferencing is perfect for our personal relationships, or for catching up with friends, but when it comes to business — video-conferencing is overused and wastes time. It’s dangerous because employees treat hours spent in virtual meetings as “work done”, when in reality the real work doesn’t begin until everyone hangs up.

Relying exclusively on video-conferencing can halve team productivity. With the usual aspects of ‘office-life’ eliminated, the amount of uncontrollable distractions should be reduced. The statistics don’t lie: office workers spend an average of 66 minutes per day discussing non-work issues, while remote workers spend an average of 29 minutes doing the same. This figure is worse yet for managers, who reportedly spend 70 minutes of the day conversing in non-work related discussion.

In the traditional office set-up, open plan offices and noisy coworkers are the enemy when it comes to staying on task. So why would we actively bring these distractions into our remote offices, when we have the power to control external contact? 

Of course, certain industries will need more conference calling than others, but everyone can streamline the way they communicate. Abolishing video entirely may not be plausible in these exceptional times, as many aspects of business benefit from face-to-face conversation. But businesses who don’t need a one hour video conversation each day should ideally look for alternative ways to maintain communication in their teams. 

Good work (remote or otherwise) requires deep concentration and long, uninterrupted periods of time. That’s why Wundamail fundamentally recommends using written automatic daily check-ins and status updates for your teams to streamline communication, hold accountability and promote inclusivity. 

Communication shouldn’t require calendar synchronization, and writing things down is often far more direct. Automatic questions on a regular schedule help people practice sharing, writing, and communicating.

Wundamail’s automatic, daily status update works directly alongside your email inbox. All you have to do is enter your team’s email addresses and you can start asking essential questions right away. No usernames, passwords or complex IT integrations are required.

The Benefits of Wundamail Automatic Check-Ins


  • Without being cynical, people typically have a lot to say, but they’ll actually volunteer little. Asking questions on a regular schedule helps people practise sharing, writing, and communicating. Having this in a written, visual format promotes inclusivity in your team and provides a little healthy competition for those who need to work a bit harder.


  • Calendars have nothing to do with communication. Written correspondence, rather than spoken or via virtual meetings, is independent of schedule. Written communication can also be viewed as many times as desired — with video-conferencing, unless minutes are somehow recorded, once the call ends, the words have evaporated, which is why a follow-up tool is essential. 


  • Write-ups benefit the writer as well as the reader. Filling in your daily Wundamail is a great way to exercise self-discipline. Asking questions such as “Were you efficient today?” allow your team to reflect on their work-day and monitor their own performance. Automatic check-ins are great for diving into the depths of what’s worked well and what needs improvement. 


  • Communication is ineffectual, especially verbal communication. Every video buffer adds static and chips at productivity. Also, have you ever tried to actually get a word out in a call of 10+ people? It’s actually very difficult to have a coordinated and coherent conversation - you may as well hold a whiteboard to the camera to project your thoughts. Because of this chaotic format, important information needs to be communicated, and recorded, by written means. Unless you’re recording minutes during your video-conference, you’re unlikely to remember every piece of important information from your team. 


Why not save yourself the time of recording minutes by using an automatic, daily check-in instead?

Yes, certainly use video-call briefly each morning to go over the objectives of the day/week, and to genuinely check-in on each-other as a team, but use Wundamail’s automatic check-ins to do the rest of your communication. Each individual will expect a ‘What did you do today?’ so it’s a really effective method to ramp up your team’s motivation levels. If you condition your team into giving you a status update each day, it can also result in a little healthy competition - if individuals know they’re being checked up on every day, their efforts are unlikely to drop, meaning as a manager, you can still get a sense of what your team are doing, without pestering them all day.

It’s time to adopt a remote working strategy that is proven to work. The time is now, it’s vital for the economy and we need to adapt fast and efficiently to maintain productivity in our remote teams. 

Don’t waste your day on video-conferencing, use your time wisely and check-in on your team through Wundamail’s automatic status updates.

Our work-from-home software is currently free to any business or organisation who needs it. 

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