The Importance of Keeping Your Cameras On While Working Remotely

Ever since the pandemic, the modern workplace has changed significantly. While most companies have returned back to the office, there are quite a few who have gone fully remote or have embraced hybrid working. The Hybrid working model gives employees the flexibility of working from home for a few days a week and the rest from the office. This allows them the necessary quiet time and convenience of working from home, and at the same time, provides the benefits of in-person collaboration and bonding in the office.

One of the outcomes of this shift in the way of working has been virtual meetings. Whether we are working from home or from the office, virtual meetings have become a part of our daily routine.

If a colleague for any reason is not able to make it to the office, instead of cancelling an important meeting, they can always join from a remote location. Virtual meetings have improved productivity and reduced wastage of time drastically.

However, there are some virtual meeting etiquettes that must be followed to make these meetings efficient and productive. Virtual meetings can be two-dimensional and often flat, as people tend to multitask. This ends up becoming counterproductive.

It is important to keep your cameras on during an online Zoom meeting or Teams call. It’s surprising how many organisations have accepted the ‘no cameras on’ phenomenon 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 meetings, town halls, performance conversations, sales conversations, or even just a quick project update, do we endorse people joining with cameras off?

It’s crucial if we want to be effective communicators that we engaged all our senses and our intuition, to ensure that we are both sending and receiving messages clearly. Let alone the impact having your camera has on focusing on this meeting’s 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 keep 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 the meeting or training experience to your needs and ever register any concerns people might have about the topic of conversation.

After all, how do you build a culture of collaboration and engagement when all you see is 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. Even if your employees might be able to listen intently to your words, you are still losing 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 can be converted into a 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.