{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I don't understand the obsession of always having your camera on on Zoom, especially when people call you out on it in front of a group. Or maybe I'm just weird", "post_id": "6077ad4fb0d68b0020e79adf", "reply_count": 62, "vote_count": 53, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting" }

I don't understand the obsession of always having your camera on on Zoom, especially when people call you out on it in front of a group. Or maybe I'm just weird

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Really my only rule is if the client has theirs on / you turn yours on also. But other than that - on/off I don’t care. Are you doing your job well? Do I feel like you’re paying attention and getting things done? If yes, camera does not matter to me at all. I don’t have mine on in half of my meetings and it had had ZERO impact on my performance and team engagement.

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My company has a norm that we are always camera on when in zoom. Definitely always on camera with clients- and so are they. For client-facing work, if client is on video then so must you be- otherwise that seems just rude. Also I have found that being completely remote the video has helped to build relationships more. Sometimes people are not in video for our all-company meetings (and it’s always the same ones who are on/off) and that is okay. What I don’t like is being on Zoom after hours for personal groups such as my non-profit boards and book club/social things. That is just “yuck”.

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yupp,... people should encourage other's well-being.. just treat it like a regular call.. don't turn on your video....resist peer-pressure / temptation ... set your own boundaries... regardless, teams ought to challenge themselves and get better at tackling trivial items over email /IM rather than spending hours on calls and then having to work after hours to make-up

likeuplifting

It's super weird. My boss does it, and he said something to me about not turning mine on - I told him I hate having my camera on and am not doing it.

likeuplifting

I think it is that the video technology improved and was made easier by zoom (and others) post-Covid. Pre-Covid at previous jobs, we were always audio-only. I HATED it anytime we had to try video (which almost never worked so we scrapped even trying). Now, I actually strongly prefer zoom with video because it is so much more personal. But not for every single call, every time. For some, audio works just fine. Like a short team check-in, for example.

I find it super weird when people don’t put theirs on when everyone else does. If someone starts the call and says “no video, cool with everyone?” then that’s one thing. We are all at work, just like we were prepandemic. It’s not an excuse to suddenly look like a slob. If you can’t come on video or give a reasonable excuse, it make me wonder what you’re hiding. This is coming from someone who loathes video and would work from bed all day if I could.

likefunny

I work better in my pajamas

If it’s working hours it’s a pretty reasonable expectation.

likefunny

You know you can just choose to hide everyone’s video feeds, or everyone except the speaker’s

Probably to humanize the WFH experience

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absolutely agree OP, it’s all way too structured and I haven’t heard of any good solutions. I’ve heard of companies using Discord as a way to emulate a virtual office so it may get closer to those casual conversations, but nothing beats face to face.

I tell them my camera isn’t working and since that isn’t a priority technology issue, it will only be fixed once offices open

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Being on video all day is exhausting. There’s been some reporting on this - staring at yourself, having to be constantly “on”, performing. I agree.

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Thanks for sharing the article D7, it’s hard to explain. For me being in a meeting physically can be energizing, but being in a zoom meeting is always depleting. It’s like the article mentions “hyper-gaze”, not like in an IRL meeting where you can feel comfortable looking down, the focus can be on someone else, etc.

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You are normal, dw.

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Thanks D1 :) glad I'm not the only one who feels this way!

Mine is always on, if yours is off, no problem, let people do what they want. I don't need a camera to know you're not paying attention :) Also, when my camera is on, doesn't mean I'm staring into it all the time; in a f2f meeting, I'm nog staring into your eyes constantly, am I (HR told me not to do that).

likefunny

Camera is always on, but I also minimize meeting windows (as I assume others do as well, or at least I think that’s what they should do), so not looking at the other person all the time. Also, if my camera is on, I’m less likely to start doing something else and find I’m more focused, get short calls done quicker. That being said, I honestly don’t care if your camera is on, I care about the conversation, about your output. We should all seriously consider not taking our own norms as the standard for everyone around us, especially when these norms have zero impact on what we aim to achieve.

Asking not being in video is like asking to not come to a meeting but dial in from the room next door. I understand that there is fatigue and we would switch off cameras when talking with people you talk to regularly. But not switching on camera in client meetings is just super rude

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I just started my new job in industry and we only turn the camera on when we have team meetings with the vp which is like once a month if that

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That sounds awful!

likefunny

I never turn my camera on. Doesn’t matter if internal or client facing. Seniority of the group is irrelevant and being only one not on camera doesn’t phase me. In the year since WFH became normalized literally only one person (client) has made a comment on it and I simply ignored and continued on. Set your own boundaries.

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Stanford has done a study that touched on zoom fatigue, and watching yourself talk is part of it. zoom has a feature to turn off self view which is what I do now while keeping video on. makes it closer to just talking to someone regularly, but nothing will ever truly beat talking to someone in person.

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Idk I’m on various teams that never turn their cameras on and I’m getting pretty sick of it. I miss seeing people’s faces

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Then organize a fun team meeting, play a game or chat, where video is pre arranged.

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I find video intrusive and exhausting. It’s not the same as going to work. People don’t see the inside of your home at work, and I don’t have to see the inside of theirs! Plus I don’t sit 12 inches from their face. I have never felt as relaxed and focused on video as I have in an in-person meeting. I’ll turn it on for special high priority meetings. Day to day, 90% of day, it’s off. And when someone makes a comment I remind them not to ‘video shame’ others and let people set their own boundaries. It’s so rude to demand video, especially if that expectation isn’t made in advance.

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Is it acceptable to not have camera on if you aren’t contributing to the call? Like not actively speaking or anything

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I think so, yes. If you're "backstop" or "listen only" type attendees, I think it's fine to leave it off and sit in the background, just like the "cheap seats" at bigger meetings.

I really don’t get this point of “client has camera on, so should we”.. my home is my personal space. I shouldn’t be forced to put it up on display for everyone. Nothing in our employment contract says that. We are expected to be presentable when we are at office or client office. Nothing about our personal space/home requiring to be presentable. If someone wants to voluntarily turn their camera on, great. But really don’t get how you can force someone else to do it.

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My current client is a camera on advocate. I try to appease one or twice a week. I rather stay in my messy morning hair and pj’s unless I’m leaving the house - which is rare these days.

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My default is to leave it off. I find that others follow suit quickly.

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