The Importance Of Keeping Your Cameras On When Working Remotely
Have we really got Zoom fatigue? Or are we just facilitating meetings badly?
It’s been seven months since we all had to adjust to an increase in virtual meetings and for some it’s the only interaction they get with their work colleagues. Whilst it’s made us super-efficient, jumping from one meeting to the next with barely enough time to boil the kettle, it has allowed some bad habits to creep in. I’ve been surprised how many organisations have accepted the ‘no cameras on’ phenomena and then wonder why their culture might be suffering.
You wouldn’t accept this in a face to face meeting. So why when we have important team meetings, town halls, performance conversations, sales conversations or even just a quick project update, do we endorse people joining with their cameras off?
It’s crucial if we want to be effective communicators that we engage all our senses and intuition, to ensure we are both sending and receiving messages clearly. Let alone the impact having your camera has on focusing on this meetings content, rather than trying to multi-task with emails and TEAMS chat.
At Biz Group as we pivoted to delivering learning, teambuilding and supporting large meetings with virtual facilitation, we were adamant that everyone needs to have their cameras on. Whether you are having a bad hair day, might have pets crossing the screen, kids in the background or you are wearing your PJs – we want to see you. This helps us read the audience, match the pace of meeting or training experience to your needs and even register any concerns people might have about the topic of conversation.
Recently a participant told me that having joined the company during COVID-19, the only time he saw his colleagues was during our virtual learning sessions. How do you build a culture of collaboration and engagement when you see a photo, initials or worse a dot?
To the leaders reading this who understand the importance of keeping their teams aligned with the companies priorities and direction, please think twice about delivering your message with your camera off, although your employees might be able to listen intently to the words, you are still losing over half of the power of your messaging and if they have their cameras’ off, you have no idea if your words have created clarity or more confusion.
We believe anything delivered in the traditional classroom and be converted to the virtual environment. It is about a carefully considered redesign of training or meeting agendas, high energy facilitation and most importantly CAMERAs ON.
We'd like to give a big shout out to Sheilvy Salazar at istoryastudio for the amazing images.