Description: Have you used Zoom or one of the other virtual meeting platforms for the first time recently? How did you find the experience? For many of us such meeting ARE new experiences. We went from meetings happening in-person and face-to-face to playing our part in a CBC or CNN interview/presentation. You know the ones where the host is there and those joining him or her are seen virtually in picture-in-picture rectangles. You may have noticed (if not go look) that the people in the rectangles, while they are waiting for their turn to speak look directly into the camera and only very rarely show any sort of reaction to what other “people in rectangles” are saying. They might nod their heads slightly or maybe even smile or frown but mainly they are very still, as if they are trying hard NOT to draw our visual attention away from whoever “has the virtual floor or the camera focus.” Have you noticed in your own online meetings how that is almost impossible to do? It is hard work to remember to look into the camera rather than at the other faces on your computer screen and it is hard to remember to look I not the camera when you DO speak. The task of deciding how to time an effort to join in is also complicated again because it is hard to know where to look and how to look. If you are doing a lot of your work or studying in such online group spaces it is important to notice, even if it seems to be going well, how hard it can be on us to try to smoothly act like our virtual interactions are natural, normal and “like face-to-face interactions. Have a read through the article linked below for some things to think about that will help you notice and then cope better with the added stresses associated with our living in isolation and connecting virtually.
Source: Zoom Fatigue: Don’t Let Video Meetings Zap Your Energy, Suzanne Degges-White, Lifetime Connections, Psychology Today
Date: April 4, 2020
The are a great number of things we are trying to (and not always successfully) adapt to in our new realities. Despite its past negative connotations sometimes “phoning it in” is exactly what we need to do.
Questions for Discussion:
- How are Zoom interactions different from face-to-face interactions?
- What are some of the ways that home environments are inhospitable to workplace activities?
- What are some of the challenges and trade-offs we should be aware of or prepared to make while isolated and/ or working from home?
References (Read Further):
Ellison, J. K. (2011, January). Ergonomics for telecommuters and other remote workers. In ASSE Professional Development Conference and Exposition. American Society of Safety Engineers. Link
Markman, K. M. (2009). “So What Shall We Talk About” Openings and Closings in Chat-Based Virtual Meetings. The Journal of Business Communication (1973), 46(1), 150-170. Link
Mittleman, D. D., Briggs, R. O., & Nunamaker, J. F. (2000). Best practices in facilitating virtual meetings: Some notes from initial experience. Group Facilitation: A Research and Applications Journal, 2(2), 5-14. Link
Crosbie, T., & Moore, J. (2004). Work–life balance and working from home. Social Policy and Society, 3(3), 223-233. Link
Chung, H., & Van der Lippe, T. (2018). Flexible working, work–life balance, and gender equality: Introduction. Social Indicators Research, 1-17. Link