I cannot even begin to count the number of video conferences I’ve done since the beginning of March.
I’ve worked exclusively at home for 11 years, and so I thought I was as up to date as anyone on remote communication. I teach a daily class via Skype and thought I was prepared for all my real-life meetings to replaced with video conferences–mostly Zoom.
But, I find them exhausting. And today, after a particularly harrowing one that lasted an hour and a half, I had to walk into the living room and get my son back on his school video conference. And by then, I felt like a nap was in order. (Sadly, I did not do this.)
It turns out I’m not alone. The BBC spoke to some experts: Academics and workplace experts Gianpiero Petriglieri and Marissa Shuffler. They explained what’s up.
To keep reading, click here: Exhausted? Blame Zoom. Or Skype
4 thoughts on “Exhausted? Blame Zoom. Or Skype”
Yes, ZOOM meetings are better than nothing, but are a poor substitute for in-person ones. No one looks good on a ZOOM meeting. Plus, seeing your own image, as well as those of other participants, can be distracting. Even worse is that there is a slight delay in the audio, and it’s easier for people to talk over each other, or for there to be awkward pauses. There’s an article in Ms. Magazine positing that the problems with Manspaining and women being over-interrupted in meetings is worsened in virtual ones. I haven’t yet experienced the problem with being ZOOM-bombed or with private meetings being inappropriately publicly disclosed, but those are also concerns.
Years ago some coworkers who were investigating early options for remote meetings concluded that it made more sense to show a good still photo of each participant rather than try to show video. It reduces the tendency for everyone to stare at their own picture wondering whether the vid just froze them scratching their nose with their chin lit eerily from beneath, and it increases the bandwidth available for quality sound. It’s almost 20 years later and I’m finding that it’s still good advice.
I don’t know much about video conferencing but I do know that computer cameras suck in camera options to viewer and user. I am one of those people who don’t appear well in photos mainly because of angles, so I prefer to have a professional taken photo up and better connections for the speakers. If you have a gamer in your house, you would know how easy they have conversations with their online friends. This is what should be happening if our future is video conferencing—clear concise voice connections to have conversations —there’s no need for total in person face-to-face unless deemed necessary for the interaction but that means both have to be using a high quality connection to have excellent communication. I assume that if one does this regularly, you have invested in the technology. Look at all the news anchors reporting from their homes—they have a mini studio with correct broadcasting equipment. How many of us have that kind of quality equipment?
We use Microsoft Teams, it’s much easier to deal with after the learning curve
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